Thursday, March 29, 2012

Simple Pasta Marinara

I was having an “I should have been Italian” moment last week…

I made this gigantic meal of Prosciutto and Fontina Chicken, Garlicky Sauteed Spinach, and this delicious pasta (all on the same night).

…and then I realized it was just me and the hubs for dinner. 

Ya, to say “I had leftovers for days” would be an understatement! hah

I stopped buying store-bought spaghetti & marinara sauce years ago when I learned how SIMPLE it was to make my own. The beautiful thing about this sauce is you can serve it simply as is, OR you can use it as a base and to add all sorts of wonderful things to: a little basil, a splash of red wine, some mushrooms? Perhaps some cream or olives or other veggies? Got a bunch of meat eaters in your life?? Add something like Italian sausage or ground turkey!  The possiblities are endless.

Seem like way to much pasta for your small family? Cook only half of the spaghetti and set aside half of the sauce to freeze for a later use. 2 meals out of one! Jack. Pot. 

Anyhow, this pasta is simple, fresh, and tasty as all get out! 

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Simple Pasta Marinara

Yield: 6-8 servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

The sauce can double as a basic marinara sauce for pizza, chicken/eggplant parmesan, cheese sticks etc... DELICIOUS.


2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 of a small onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, grated
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
14.2 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon oregano

1 pound whole wheat thin spaghetti (or other pasta)
freshly grated parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)
freshly chopped basil, for serving (optional)
crushed red pepper flakes, for serving (optional)


Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add the onions and saute for 3-5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic saute (stirring constantly) until fragrant (1-2 more minutes).

Add the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, salt, sugar, and oregano and stir to combine well. Bring to a low boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for at least 30 minutes (or until ready to use).

Boil pasta according to package instructions, drain, and then place into sauce and toss to combine. Top with a heafty amount of freshly grated parmesan cheese, freshly chopped basil, and/or crushed red pepper flakes.

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18 Responses to “Simple Pasta Marinara”

  1. 1

    Cassie — March 29, 2012 @ 9:25 am

    Yes! Homemade marinara is the best, we had some on Sunday. This sounds amazing!

  2. 2

    Kathryn — March 29, 2012 @ 9:27 am

    I don’t think there is every such a thing as too much pasta! I love love love a simple marinara sauce, there really aren’t many things that I would rather eat!

  3. 3

    Claire @ Live and Love to Eat — March 29, 2012 @ 9:27 am

    Looks like a perfectly simple sauce – there’s no reason to buy the jarred kind! 🙂

  4. 4

    Brittany A — March 29, 2012 @ 10:05 am

    THIS is my kind of meal! Looks SOOOOO yummy! 🙂

  5. 5

    Dianna @ The Kitchen Prep — March 29, 2012 @ 10:15 am

    I get carried away in the kitchen sometimes, too. Luckily, the husband is not against eating leftovers… for days. haha! Looks a lot like the marinara we make in our home. Delicious!

  6. 6

    Yammie @ Yammie's Noshery — March 29, 2012 @ 10:38 am

    I just discovered the wonder of homemade pasta sauce very recently. I feel like a changed person. I mean, was that girl who used to keep Prego forever stocked in the pantry really me?

  7. 7

    Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen — March 29, 2012 @ 11:19 am

    I love pasta with marinara. So simple yet so delicious! This looks great, and I love that it’s on the chunky side – that’s my favorite kind of marinara!

  8. 8

    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — March 29, 2012 @ 1:18 pm

    Mmm so easy and tasty looking!

  9. 9

    char eats GREENS — March 29, 2012 @ 3:14 pm

    I love homemade marinara sauces…especially when they’re simple 😉

  10. 10

    Kalee — March 29, 2012 @ 4:36 pm

    I have been looking for a homemade marinara sauce!! 🙂 Yours looks so good! I am going to try it really soon. 🙂

  11. 11

    Jessica M. — March 29, 2012 @ 7:11 pm

    This looks delicious! Gotta love a giant bowl of pasta 🙂

  12. 12

    Stephanie — March 29, 2012 @ 7:36 pm

    I hate buying jarred sauces too. It’s so easy to make your own and it tastes so much better! Yours looks great! Love the diced tomatoes!

  13. 13

    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — March 30, 2012 @ 8:20 am

    fabulous dish!! Looks so good! I have been craving pasta all week and now I must make it, your pictures make it look so appetizing!!

  14. 14

    Chels R. — March 30, 2012 @ 8:21 pm

    This looks fabulous! I’ve been wanting to try an homemade version.

  15. 15

    Janet@FCTC — April 2, 2012 @ 5:37 pm

    Well, I couldn’t figure out what to make for dinner tonight. Now I know 😀

  16. 16

    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts — April 2, 2012 @ 6:41 pm

    Sauce sounds delicious! I love making my sauce from scratch. So much better than store bought, and really not that much work!

  17. 17

    Lauren — April 3, 2012 @ 4:49 pm

    Gorgeous! I love the simplicity of marinara. So easy but so darn good!

  18. 18

    Joanna — April 3, 2012 @ 7:18 pm

    I’m that person that usually reads recipes for scratch-made pantry staples and thinks “but whyyyyy would I want to make that when I can just BUY it?!” But something about this marinara got me hooked, and I’m happy to report that after making this, I might actually have one pantry staple I insist on making from scratch. 🙂 Thanks for all of your practical, easy, super-appetizing dinner recipes!

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