May 01, 2014

Homemade Marinara Sauce

I started making my own Marinara sauce a few years ago when I took an Italian cooking class.  It is very simple to make one in the crock pot and let it simmer and smell up the house all day.  I chose to do this because so many canned sauces contain chemicals, sugar and soy and none of those things are great for us.  Here is my own little version...

Start with Olive oil in the bottom of the pan on low heat.

Add to that:

1 chopped onion
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup grated zucchini
4 cloves of garlic or less if you don't love garlicky sauces

Saute it all until veggies soften a bit.

To that you add:

1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 8 ounce cans tomato sauce
2 tsp or less of salt
pinch of black pepper

I also add fresh oregano and basil from the garden.

You can also add 1/2 cup mushrooms if you like that to give a meaty texture for the meat free version.

To add meat you just brown your ground sausage or ground beef or turkey and add it to the sauce above.

This can be made quickly but if you really want it to be full of flavor it is better to let it simmer low and slow over the day in a crock pot or stew pot on the stove.

The vegan version is great over pasta or eggplant or chicken parmesan.

With the meat it makes a nice topping for all pastas but our favorite is spaghetti.  I also use the meat version in our lasagna recipe.

This is a very versatile version that can be made ahead of time and stored for use during the week, too.  I often double or triple the recipe and freeze some for later use.

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