The great thing about a really good marinara sauce is how versatile it is. You can use this same starter recipe for mozzarella stick dipping sauce, pizza sauce, meatball subs, spaghetti sauce, or use as is served over pasta or gnocchi. This is my personal adaptation of a recipe I found in Delightfully Free a few years ago.
So let’s dig into this marinara sauce!
3 Tbsp olive oil
5-6 cloves fresh minced garlic (or more to taste…I like a lot of garlic and usually use more)
1 28 oz can tomato puree
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp sea salt to taste
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, or 1 1/4 tsp dried basil
3 Tbsp fresh Italian parsley, use dried if not available
Pepper to taste
In a large saucepan, cook the minced garlic in the olive oil for 2 minutes. Add the tomato puree and diced tomatoes. Stir in seasonings. Let simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Other Ways to Use this Sauce
Spaghetti sauce – add your sautéed vegetables of choice to the marinara sauce after 20 minutes, and continue to let simmer for another hour.
Pizza sauce – continue to let simmer uncovered for a total of an hour instead of only 20 minutes. I’ve not come across the perfect pizza crust yet, but Pamela’s Pizza Crust Mix is one my family always falls back on.
Meatball subs – add meatballs to the sauce, and continue to simmer for an 45-60 minutes.
What Are You Going to Make?
I usually triple this batch so I can freeze two meals worth. I like to meal plan for spaghetti, meatball subs, pizza and anything else I might want to use a marinara sauce for within a given month, and that’s how much I’ll make. I thaw out the frozen portion, let it simmer for a bit, and then turn it into our meal of choice for the night. This is a fast and easy recipe, but nothing is much faster than already having the sauce ready, so try to plan ahead in order to maximize your time!
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