Not Your Mama’s Marinara

I grabbed a can of vegetable beef soup from the cabinet and quickly decided that it wasn’t going to cut it for lunch today. I gave a quick scan to the cupboard and figured I would experiment and make a marinara sauce.  I had never made marinara,  just meat sauce (refer to the One Pot Ragu recipe).  In fact, I’d never really tasted a marinara that I liked. They all tasted like they were missing something to me and didn’t have enough texture.

I grabbed as handful of cans, wine, onion, garlic and some herbs. I figured I had nothing to lose. If I didn’t like it, I could always go buy some chopped meat and doctor it up and make meat sauce.

Lo and behold, I loved it! I honestly liked it more than the meat sauce I make. It’s light, flavorful, and couldn’t be easier or faster to make. I hope you give it a try or use it as a base to make your own creation.


  • good amount (1/3 cup?) of olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion diced
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped thinly
  • 2 carrots, shredded (I use my hand held flat grater to shred everything)
  • 4 cloves of garlic “shredded”
  • 2 – 15 oz cans of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 – 14.5 oz cans of petite diced tomatoes
  • about 1/3 bottle of cabernet wine
  • about teaspoon of sugar
  • salt
  • pepper
  • pepper flakes
  • oregano (tbs)
  • basil (palmful)
  • fresh grated parmesan (optional)

I didn’t use a large pot like I do for my meat sauce. I just used a large covered pan, but I’m sure it doesn’t matter. Anyway, coat the bottom of the pan with the oil and get it hot over medium heat. Add the diced onion and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the salt, pepper, pepper flakes (to taste), oregano, and basil. Now add the celery and shredded carrots. Next, add the diced tomatoes and cover with the wine.  Cook for about 5 minutes to cook it down.  Add the sugar. Top with the two cans of crushed tomatoes. Bring to a low boil and then reduce to simmer and cook for at least an hour. I think most sauces are better the second day, but I ate this with small penne pasta after an hour and it was excellent!  I do hope you try this, or some version of it, and realize that a fast, healthy and delicious meal is really only moments away.





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s