Marinara Sauce

This sauce is the first thing I ever really learned how to cook. Sure, I had made things before, but always from recipes. This sauce was different. I learned how to make it without a recipe, and it’s reached the point where I can make from muscle memory. I let my brain take me as far as getting the ingredients out of the fridge, but then I shift into autopilot. Before I know it, I’m sitting down to a very big serving of pasta.

What you need:

  • 2 28oz cans of crushed tomatoes (my dad and I love the Whole Foods brand)
  • 1-2 tbs olive oil
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp salt (add more as needed)
  • 1/4-1/3 cup minced fresh basil
  • 1 lb capellini (angel hair) pasta
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese (not optional)
What you need to do:
  1. In a large sauce pan, sauté the garlic in olive oil until fragrant. 
  2. Add the crushed tomatoes to the sauce pan along with the sugar, salt and basil.
  3. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat, then simmer on low for 20-30 minutes (be sure to taste the the sauce and add more salt/sugar as needed).
  4. While the sauce simmers, cook your pasta and grate your parmesan cheese.
  5. Combine the pasta with the sauce, top with cheese and enjoy!
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2 Responses to Marinara Sauce

  1. Zoe says:


  2. Benj Kanters says:

    Gotta say, that as I get older and listen to the master-cook-intuitive . . . your mother . . .

    I’ve learned to sauté the garlic less before adding the tomatoes (barely fragrant) . . . simmer the sauce with just the salt and sugar for 10 to 20 minutes, then add the fresh basil for only the last 5 or so minutes before serving . . . The basil will infuse just fine and have a fresher flavor overall.

    And yes . . . there is NO substitute for freshly grated parmesan!!!

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