basic {but delicious} marinara sauce recipe

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I am sorry to those that found this page looking for a meaty marinara recipe.  Alas, this recipe is meat-less.  But the reason for the title of this post is due to the fact that while trying to add new protein sources to our diets {other than “meat”}, I am finding a lot of recipes calling for a tomato-based sauce.  We have been going through a lot of jarred sauce {which is processed} and with it, probably too much sugar.

After a couple of friends passed along an abundance of their beautiful tomato garden, I got to creating this recipe so that I could preserve their goodness and have a good, basic tomato sauce {with less sugar and preservatives} to use in many meals to come!

Before you even begin this recipe, if you are like me and prefer a smooth marinara sauce {closer to what you would get in a jar or at, say, a famous hut, that has pizza, and unbelievably good-yet-bad-for-you breadsticks}, than you are going to want to get yourself a hand immersion blender.

cuisinart hand immersion blender

Awhile back, I bought myself the Cuisinart SmartStick Immersion Hand Blender {in the fuschia pink option, of course}.  It was one of the best purchases for the kitchen that I have ever made.  You know when recipes {like a sauce, for instance} want you to cook and get something REALLY hot in a pot and then “simply” transfer it to a blender to blend and then “simply” add it back to the pot to heat some more…..yeah, that was never “simple” for me and always resulted in at least a little bit of burnt arm skin…..mmmmm, right?

These hand immersion blenders solve that problem!  This model, in particular, is also so extremely easy to clean.  The bottom blade part detaches from the motor part with a push of a button.  I never hesitate with the, “oh man, it is so tedious to clean” feeling prior to using it…..{like I used to when trying to “simply” use my blender}.

After you cook this marinara sauce, all you have to do is smooth it with the blender and voila, you have “simply” finished your marinara sauce!

Once cooled to room temperature, you can store it in the refrigerator, or put it into freezer safe containers and store in the freezer for up to 3 months {like it will last that long, however}.  I like to store about 2 cups worth per container as this is just the right amount whether I need the sauce for a basic spaghetti dinner, to add to chili, use on homemade pizza, or create a more complex pasta dish.

Now, go get to your garden and pick those tomatoes!

If you do not have fresh tomatoes available to make this sauce, you can certainly used canned diced tomatoes {like I will be doing in the dead of February-winter…and am out of my freezer stock…and can no longer stand the taste of what I would buy in the jar at the store!}.

Basic Marinara Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, finely diced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon dried italian seasoning
  • 9 cups diced tomatoes {skins removed from tomatoes first!} or use 6, 15 oz. cans diced tomatoes {do not drain!}

Directions:

1.  Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the onions, carrots, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until very tender and beginning to brown {about 15 minutes}.

2.  Add the garlic, oregano, and italian seasoning and cook, stirring for 2 minutes {do not let brown}.

3.  Add the tomatoes and their juices and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened {about 55 minutes}.

4.  Use your hand immersion blender to blend {right in the cooking pot!} until desired smoothness level has been met.

5.  Cool and store in the refrigerator or freeze for up to 3 months.

P.S. You may add meat, if you wish…

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