Now that I have been getting more busy with work, I have had to cut down on the amount of time that I can use to cook dinner. Even though I didn’t want to out of principal, I tried a Rachael Ray 30 Minute Meals cookbook. While I may not be a fan of her show, her recipes are indeed fast and delicious.
One of the ones that surprised me the most is a fast, easy marinara sauce. I had been struggling for a few years to find a homemade marinara sauce that I really like. I took a bunch of fresh tomatoes and would simmer them down for a few hours with herbs and veggies like I saw suggested, but never liked it. It felt too heavy, like all the sun had been simmered out. So I thought, heck, why not, I’ll try a fast way instead. I was not disappointed. This is now (with my modifications) my go to tomato sauce recipe.
Marinara sauce originated in southern Italy as an easy and fast sauce to help pasta and meats taste better. Because of the high acid content of tomatoes, it keeps well too! The first time a recipe for this sauce was published was 1692. Can you imagine what Italian food must have been like before the tomato?
This recipe is harder to do in the winter, when you can’t go out to the garden to grab your own tomatoes and basil. And many of you probably don’t have big enough gardens to do it either.
Fast, Fresh, Homemade Marinara Sauce
- 2T Olive Oil
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes.
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/4 onion, minced
- 2 large cans diced or crushed tomatoes. (Or the same amount of fresh, chopped. I like to do 1 can, and then 1 package cherry tomatoes, quartered).
- 15-20 basil leaves, cut or torn
- 1 tsp dry oregano, or 3 stems fresh, leaves taken from stems.
- 1/2 dry tsp Herbs de Provence.
- 1 or 2 handfulls spinach, minced
- Heat the olive oil in a large sautee pan. Chop all the ingredients.
- Sautee the garlic and pepper flakes till they start to smoke.
- Dump in the tomatoes and stir around. Put in the herbs. Let it simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Put in the well chopped spinach at the very end. Let it wilt in.
- Serve over meat, pasta, or whatever you want.