Introduction: Marinara Sauce

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This is my go-to marinara sauce. It's really pretty easy to make - just takes a bit of simmering! This marinara sauce is perfect for chunky pastas, dipping bread in, and as a pizza sauce. It's honestly so good I often make toast to eat the leftovers on. :D

Oh, it's a good sauce for lasagna, too! I've used it in regular lasagna, polenta lasagna and zucchini lasagna - it's a very nice substitute for a meat sauce. 

Step 1: Ingredients:

  • two 14.5 oz cans of tomatoes or one 32 oz can - I like to use one can of tomato sauce and one of diced tomatoes.
  • 1 onion, diced finely
  • 1 carrot, diced finely
  • 1 stalk of celery, diced finely
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon capers, chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 tablespoon oregano
  • 1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • pinch of dill
  • fresh basil, chopped (optional)

Fresh basil and capers make this beyond perfect, but it's really good without those too! If you don't have any capers, you can always add a splash of vinegar at the end to make it a little more tangy. :)

Also, keep in mind that when I say a pinch of dill I mean a tiny pinch. It can be a dominant flavor if you add to much!

Step 2: Saute the Veggies

Heat some olive oil over medium heat - when it's nice and hot add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and capers.

Saute the vegetables with a pinch of salt until then onions get translucent, 3-5 minutes. :)

Step 3: Season!

Add in the oregano, Italian seasoning, dill, tomato paste and a few good cracks of pepper into the pot. Mix this all around and cook for a few minutes or until the mix is really fragrant. 

You can add some chili flakes at this point too, if you like it spicy!

Step 4: Add in the Tomatoes

Add in both cans of tomatoes and stir well. At this point, I normally add in a half can's worth of water, too! This will help it simmer longer without reducing too much. :D

Make sure to scrape the bottom of the pot at this point - chances are you'll have lots of browned yummy bits!

Step 5: Simmer!

This is the key to a good tomato sauce - the simmering! 

The water added in the last step helps simmer it for longer. Leave the lid cracked or off completely and turn your heat down to low. Let it cook for at least an hour - this batch ended up being cooked about an hour and a half. I like to check the seasonings after about a half hour of simmering.

It'll reduce down in this time - cook it until it reaches your desired thickness. :D

If you want to add basil, stir it in after you turn off the heat!

Enjoy! I know this is definitely my favorite tomato sauce. 

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