Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Marinara Sauce

Betty Crapper has had a love affair with spaghetti since about age 12. I had a swim coach who touted the benefit of eating pasta before swim meets. Imagine that. Carbs being good for you! 

I used to eat spaghetti topped with jarred spaghetti sauce. Betty Crapper didn't care if the sauce was cold. This was something Betty Crapper could cook. Who can't boil water and open a jar?

Although I no longer swim, or expend great amounts of energy, I still eat spaghetti quite often. Because I am picky about where my food comes from, I now make my spaghetti sauce at home. The sauce is easy to make and uses onions, garlic, carrots, celery, crushed tomatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper, and a bay leaf. I almost always have those ingredients on hand. 

First, you saute onions and garlic in olive oil for 10 minutes. Then you add carrots, celery, salt, and pepper and saute for another 10 minutes.

Once your vegetables are soft, you add the crushed tomatoes and bay leaf. An hour later you have homemade marinara sauce.

Marinara Sauce
(Adapted from Giada de Laurentiis's Everyday Italian)

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1/4 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 dried bay leaf

In a large pot heat oil over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for about 10 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic after five minutes. Once onions are translucent, add the celery, carrots, salt, and pepper. Saute until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes and bay leaf. Simmer over low heat about 1 hour, until thickened.  Makes about one quart.

  • If using as pizza sauce, puree cooked sauce until smooth. You don't want someone (cough, cough) asking if you meant to put carrots on your pizza.
  • If you want it thicker, simmer longer.
  • Puree sauce if you are picky and don't like little pieces of carrot, celery, or onions. You know who you are.
Betty Crapper has used this sauce for spaghetti, beef manicotti, and pizza. What else do you suggest she use this marinara sauce for?


  1. Homemade sauce is the best! How about with meatballs? Or meatballs subs, mmmm! Or over calzone. You made me hungry!

  2. I never thought of putting carrots in my sauce. Weird question but, Can you taste them in there?

  3. Reeni I need a tried and true meatball recipe.

    April, nope you can't taste them. I'm guessing you would puree the sauce before you ate it.

  4. I have a VERY picky family, I would have to puree it. What a great way to get them extra veggies in!

  5. This homemade sauce looks waaay better than a can. Delicious!

  6. Your sauce is very similar to mine :) I use a recipe for meatballs from Rachael Ray...


  7. I love homemade sauce! Did you know you are one of my favorite bloggers around? Well, you are...And to prove it, I've got a little somethin' somethin' for you over at my place today. Come on and swing by and check it out...


    Lots of yummy love,
    Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner

  8. I love it, what a great way to get the veggies in. I try and sneak them in everywhere :)

  9. This looks delicious! I love the simplicity and cannot wait to try it out!