I have said it before on this blog, I love pasta, and I especially love pasta with a simple marinara sauce and some parmigianno cheese. That is major comfort food for me.
When I first started cooking for myself in college, one of the first “dishes” I made was tomato sauce. I tried various recipes and techniques and I remember never being thrilled with the results.
I found this recipe a year or so ago for a very simple marinara sauce by Emeril Lagasse of all people. I am not really an Emeril fan and he certainly does not qualify as an authority on anything Italian in my book. That said, I am glad I tried it, because it is an easy, super simple marinara sauce that I can use in various applications, including as a base for a more complex tomato based sauce.
I have adapted the recipe a bit over time and it is now a freezer staple for me.
Simple Marinara Sauce
1 Tbsp. basil garlic olive oil
1 large onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
2 (28 oz) cans diced tomatoes in juices
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley or basil (or both)
Saute the onions in olive oil until soft, about 7 minutes.
Add the garlic and saute for another 1-2 minutes.
Add the Italian seasoning and cook for another minute.
Add the tomato products and the parsley and/or basil. Let simmer for 1 – 1 1/2 hours.
When finished simmering, puree with immersion blender until smooth – if desired.
Pureeing at the end is optional, of course. You may be surprised to know that neither of us like fresh tomatoes. We will both eat pretty much every tomato based product under the sun, but we both hate raw tomatoes. So, I puree this sauce mainly because I do not like the texture of the chunky sauce, the tomato hunks are too tomato-ey for me. I also think that pureeing the sauce makes it more versatile. The immersion blender we use is a KitchenAid KHB300OB Hand Blender , we got it as a gift and it is awesome. If you don’t own an immersion blender, I highly recommend picking one up.
If you are looking for a simple marinara sauce, you should give this one a try. I will eventually conquer the simmer all day sauce with various meats that every Italian grandmother has perfected, but until then, this sauce more than suffices for me.
Sauce beginning to simmer.
Sauce when done simmering.
Sauce after being pureed.