Easy Marinara Sauce

spaghetti and meatballs with sauce

Spaghetti and Meatballs

This simple marinara sauce comes from Lidia’s Commonsense Italian Cooking: 150 Delicious and Simple Recipes Anyone Can Master (Amazon link). It’s just got a few simple ingredients but if you start with good canned tomatoes, you’ll end up with a tasty marinara sauce.

It’s great as is or you can add cooked meatballs to it and simmer together for a while or use as pizza sauce. It freezes well.

Marinara Sauce

This simple marinara sauce works great with pasta and as the sauce for homemade pizza.

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 5-7 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes (or whole tomatoes crushed by hand)
  • 1 cup water
  • a pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 sprig of fresh basil
  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet, then add the garlic. Stir and let cook just a minute then add the tomatoes. Rinse the tomato can out with about a cup of water and add that to the pan. Sprinkle in the red pepper flakes and salt, then add the basil and stir it all together.
  2. Simmer about 15 minutes, stirring now and then. Discard the basil before serving.
  3. This makes enough for 1 pound of pasta, about 3 1/2 cups.


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