I suppose if I’m going to share any Italian recipes with you it might help if I give you the base ingredient to most of them–the marinara sauce. Marinara means “no meat.”

This is the sauce I now use for Red Clam sauce, Lasagna, Spaghetti and Meatballs (or not), Chicken Penne pasta, and pretty much any Italian dish that requires a red/tomato-based sauce. Now, growing up with the British side of my family, I never learned to sauté garlic in the pot first, which is why my Spaghetti and Meatballs recipe is a tad bland. I’ve learned freshly chopped/pressed garlic does change the taste of the sauce dramatically. I’ve also tweaked a few things with this original recipe to suit my own taste. I like garlic. What can I say? I also like other spices added to the mix.

Marinara Sauce

1 29 oz. can of tomato sauce (it doesn’t have to be a name brand)
2-3 cloves of fresh garlic (or 1-2 teaspoons of minced garlic*)
Extra virgin olive oil
Garlic powder
Onion powder (optional)
Italian seasonings (optional)

*Note: the minced garlic can be found in a jar at the store so you don’t have to mince a clove or two of garlic yourself. Keep it in the refrigerator. I prefer fresh garlic.

Add a splash or two of extra virgin olive oil to the pan, then add your garlic and sauté it on medium to low-medium heat. You’ll want to sauté it to a golden brown. Be careful not to burn the garlic.

Once the garlic is ready, add the can of tomato sauce and about half a can of water. Depending on how thick or thin you like your sauce, adjust the portion of water.

Bring the sauce to a boil and stir occasionally. As the sauce boils, you’ll see a foam rising to the top.

Skim the foam off. I usually keep the tomato sauce can on the stove just for this purpose. You can dump the foam in there. Continue to boil until it no longer foams – about 15 minutes or so – and stir. After you’ve skimmed the sauce, you can add garlic powder. Allow it to simmer another 15 minutes and add other desired seasonings to taste–onion powder and Italian seasonings.

This sauce takes about an hour to cook. The beauty of this recipe is that the sauce is extremely versatile. You  can use it for any of your Italian dishes and just adjust the ingredients.


Vive bene, spesso l’amore, di risata molto!

(live well, love much, and laugh often)

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