Simple Italian Marinara

So everyone knows by now my plight of marrying into an Italian Family and the ‘tings you just have to know and do.

  1. You  must talk with your hands.  The more emphasized your flailing your hands are, the ‘louder’ your conversation.
  2. One can have an entire conversation with just hand gestures.
  3. Never ever joke about putting a hit out on someone… ever
  4. “Hey” “Oh” “How u doin'” is acceptable conversations
  5. “Fahgeddaboudit” is a real word.
  6. And you must, MUST make amazing Italian Gravy… period!

So while I feel that I mastered #6, I was getting major heat by you guys and gals for not sharing the recipe.  Sorry peeps but this one is a signature for me.  When I open that bistro some day, I want you to come in and order some pasta with my sauce.  You’ll fall in love and see what I keep it under lock and key.  Even Mr. Fantabulous doesn’t know it.  I mean and he knows EVERYTHING about me.. I mean even my weight! *gasp!*  LOL

With that being said, I have a dear friend from college that was giving her family jar sauce *shudder*.  She begged, bribed and begged some more for my recipe.  Since I hate to let anyone down, I went about making a good basic marinara sauce for her.  It’s pretty simplistic and has a rich tomatoe-y flavor.  I prefer a thick sauce so this sauce would need to be thinned out a tad (add tomato sauce) if you wanted to make lasagna or stuffed shells.  This is the kind of stick-to-the-noodle sauce.

Now if you wanted you could easily add meat to this or even mushrooms while it’s simmering (brown the meat first then add to the simmering sauce).

And yes, that is carrots you see in here.  It’s a natural sweetener and marries quite well in marinara sauces.  I added just a teensy bit of white sugar to it as the plum tomatoes were just a bit acidic for me.   So for my dear friend, Kelli, this is for you hon!  I’ll be expecting a dinner invite now 🙂


Simple Italian Marinara
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  • 10 cloves Roasted Garlic - yes, roasted garlic. It makes a WORLD of difference!!!
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 4 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 6oz can tomato paste
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano
  • 2 (28-ounce) can plum tomatoes (it you can’t find that use regular puree or crushed)
  • 1 (28-ounce) can of water (rinse out one can into another)
  • 1 Tbl sugar *optional
  • ¼ cup fresh grated Parmesan *optional
  1. In a medium saucepan, sauté the onions and carrots with the oil over medium heat until the onions are translucent and the carrots are soft.
  2. Add tomato paste and stir well.
  3. Cook for about 5-10 minutes or until you ‘smell’ the tomato paste cooking. Do not burn!
  4. Add the roasted garlic, salt, pepper, basil, oregano, cheese, sugar and stir together until incorporated.
  5. Pour in the tomatoes then water.
  6. Bring to a soft boil then lower the heat to a simmer (low heat).
  7. Take an immersion blender and smooth out any chunks.
  8. Simmer for 1-2 hours, uncovered stirring occasionally.

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