A lot of times in my blog when I refer to red sauce, marinara sauce, etc. I say you can either use store bought, home made or whatever. I admit it, I use store bought sometimes (at $2 a jar for Ragu when on sale it's always safe to have 1 or 2 in the house just incase!) but when I make my own I make a big pot of it and freeze some in pint size containers for easy thawing and heating. Whenever I make my own I don't use much of a recipe, rather just sight, smell and taste - when I feel like I've been transported back to Nonna and Nonno's kitchen when I was 7 then I'm there! When pressed for a recipe though I think this one from Giada is pretty close, though I make some tweaks. This recipe is the base for so many sauces I play around with!
(the picture is actually of meat sauce because I forgot to take a picture after I started heating the marinara before tweaking!)
Source: Everyday Italian
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped (I generally use a little less - not a huge fan of onions)
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped (I generally use a little less because I don't use celery that often so I just get it from the salad bar!)
1 carrots, peeled and finely chopped (again, generally a little less but this time because I end up snacking as I chop!)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
1 dried bay leaves
- In a large pot, heat the oil over a medium-high flame.
- Add the onions and garlic and saute until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes.
- Add the celery, carrots, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
- Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and bay leaves, and simmer uncovered over low heat until the sauce thickens, about 1 hour.
- Remove and discard the bay leaves.
- Season the sauce with more salt and pepper, to taste.
(The sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, then cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium heat before using.)