Marinara sauce - three delicious recipes for marinara sauce, to be served with pasta.

marinara sauce
When it comes to discussing the ingredients of a good marinara sauce there always seems to be some kind of confusion. If you were under the impression that marinara sauce contained some type of fish or seafood, you could not be blamed for doing so, as its name does suggest this.

However, you would most definitely be mistaken, unless you actually live in Italy, in which case it's a different matter altogether.

If you live in the United States and often frequent Italian restaurants, you will know that marinara sauce is a tomato-based sauce served with pasta that contains additional ingredients such as garlic, olive oil and fresh herbs.
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Alternatively, if you reside in Italy or even in Spain, marinara sauce, as its name implies, is a tomato-based sauce containing ingredients such as squid, prawns and mussels.

Some people claim that marinara sauce originated in Naples during the mid-sixteenth century, around the time when tomatoes were first introduced to the region.

For the purpose of this article we are going to concentrate on the marinara sauce that does not contain seafood, and which some say is the "true" and only marinara sauce.

Marinara sauce is very simple and quick to prepare and is delicious served with all types of pasta.

The main ingredient is tomato, which should come in the form of canned whole or crushed tomatoes. Other traditional ingredients are garlic, usually quite a lot of it, olive oil, fresh basil and oregano.

There are many variations on the ingredients of marinara sauce and other ingredients that you may find in recipes are onion, carrots, sugar, white wine, parsley and bay leaves.

Food always tastes better when you cook with fresh herbs, but if you do not have any to hand, you can substitute the fresh herbs with dried herbs, using only 1 teaspoon of dried herbs to each tablespoon of fresh herbs.

The sauce can be prepared in around 30 minutes, although if you are able to make the sauce the day before you are planning on serving it, you should end up with a richer, fuller and more flavoursome marinara sauce, as the ingredients are allowed to sit and infuse together.

Once cooked, the sauce can be served immediately, stored for up to 5 days in the refrigerator or it can be frozen until needed.

Below are a number of simple recipes for marinara sauce to choose from. Read through each one and decide which is most likely to suit your tastes.

Simple Marinara Sauce

Ingredients
  • 1 can of Italian tomatoes (35 oz)
  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 3 leaves of freshly chopped basil
  • ½ tsp of dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to season
Method
  1. Chop the garlic into small pieces.
  2. Heat the olive oil over a medium heat in a medium sized saucepan.
  3. Add the garlic and fry gently until light brown.
  4. Crush the tomatoes or mash them with a fork or potato masher and add to the garlic with the juices from the can.
  5. Then add the oregano, chopped basil, salt and pepper and stir the ingredients to mix thoroughly.
  6. Bring the mixture to the boil, stirring occasionally.
  7. Once the sauce begins to boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 25 - 30 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
  8. The sauce is now ready to serve or can be stored in an airtight container until needed.
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Quick and easy marinara sauce

Ingredients
  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes (15 oz)
  • ½ an onion, diced
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • Dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper
Method
  1. Heat about 1 tbsp of olive oil in a medium sized saucepan.
  2. Add the chopped onion and fry over a gentle heat until the onion is translucent and soft.
  3. Add the tomatoes with their juice to the onion and stir well.
  4. Finally add some dried oregano, freshly chopped basil leaves and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Simmer over a low-medium heat for 25 - 30 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and reached the desired consistency.
  6. Check the seasoning and adjust to taste if necessary before serving with freshly boiled pasta.

Marinara Sauce

Ingredients
  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes (16 oz)
  • 6 freshly chopped basil leaves
  • ½ cup of red wine
  • ½ cup of water
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • 3 sliced cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • salt
Method
  1. In a medium sized saucepan, heat the olive oil over a medium-low heat.
  2. Add the sliced garlic and cook gently until light brown in colour, taking care not to burn the garlic.
  3. As the garlic just begins to brown add the tomatoes with the juice from the can and stir well.
  4. Then add the liquids together with the sugar and salt and bring to the boil, stirring frequently.
  5. Once the sauce starts to boil, reduce the heat to low, cover the pan with the lid and simmer gently for around 20 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
  6. Once the desired consistency has been reached, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the freshly chopped basil.
  7. Serve with cooked pasta.
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