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Monday, February 16, 2015

Basic Marinara Sauce

For spaghetti I almost always use Yaya's spaghetti sauce. It's hearty, meaty, and perfectly seasoned. But when a recipe calls for spaghetti sauce I like to use something a little more simple.

This is my go-to sauce for chicken parmesan, lasagna, and pizza. It goes well with the chicken parmesan meatballs and if you like to buy packaged meatballs this is an excellent sauce for those. I keep small 1/2 cup servings of it in the freezer for days when I'm craving a little pasta for lunch. It's delicious and versatile and the best part about it is the flavor is fantastic without being overpowering.

This is the basic, easy way to make the sauce. If you wanted to you could start by sauteing a little diced onion and garlic but I think it's just fine with the onion powder and garlic powder alone. It's particularly good in lasagna when you add the pinch of crushed red pepper. Something about the tiny bit of spice works so well with the creamy cheese in lasagna. There is no sugar in the sauce so for some it might be a bit tart but I happen to like the tangy bite.

This is kind of a two part recipe because coming up later this week is my new favorite lasagna recipe using this sauce. It's really my favorite way to use the sauce and I can't wait to share it with you! And for the record, I thought I took more than one photograph of this sauce but apparently I got busy working on the lasagna and wound up with only the one. Sorry about that. I hope it doesn't discourage you from trying the recipe.

Basic Marinara Sauce

Source: Adapted from a Yaya original

1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
2 (15 oz) cans tomato sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
2 bay leaves
1-2 pinches crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

In a medium saucepan combine the tomato paste and tomato sauce and whisk until smooth. Add the salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, basil, and oregano and whisk to combine. Stir in the bay leaves and crushed red pepper flakes.

Cover to avoid splattering and heat over medium to medium-high heat just until heated through, stirring (I usually just keep using the whisk) occasionally. Reduce the heat to low and keep warm until ready to serve or use.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 days or in zip top bags in the freezer for up to 3 months.

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