A good ole basic (and simple) marinara sauce can transform pasta noodles from blah to bam in minutes without a ton of effort. Now, I know “officially” this sauce is supposed to simmer all day long or be made a day ahead in order to satisfy our tastebuds, but I am here to tell you that my version allows one to get away a much reduced cooking time without sacrificing too much on flavor. Feel free to let this simmer for hours if you want to really help concentrate the tomato flavor, but be assured that you do not have to in order to make it good.
Compared to the commercially produced jarred (and yikes – canned!) varieties available in most countries, this is sauce is heaven. As always with any Italian offering, use the best ingredients that you can afford or get your hands on, bearing in mind that good Italian tomatoes, a good olive oil and good parmesan cheese will take you further than you might think.
If you want to save even more time during the week and still have great sauce, make this sauce in big batches on Sundays, then wait for it to cool down before portioning it out and freezing it. That way, one can simply defrost the sauce slowly in the fridge or on the countertop during the day and still have a great sauce to serve for dinner.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- a handful of fresh basil, chopped finely
- 2 teaspoons oregano, dried
- 5 cans whole tomatoes (plum tomatoes if you can find them)
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- 5 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated
- salt and pepper to taste
- Warm the olive oil on medium in a large pot.
- Add the garlic and slowly cook until slightly brown. Be careful not to burn the garlic or over cook it as it will make the sauce very bitter.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the pot, stir well and bring to a simmer for 30-35 minutes.
- After the sauce has simmered, using an immersion blender, blend the sauce until almost smooth. You want a few tomato lumps in the sauce but not too many.
- Serve the sauce with the noodles of your choice, use it as a pizza sauce or use it as a base of baked fish or chicken.