Sandy's Homemade Marinara
Pasta with a delicious sauce is such a great dinner, and requires little prep if I have sauce on hand.
The issue is that the boys (who avoid chunky tomatoes and peppers at all costs), don't really care for most of the jarred sauces out there.
I've strained jarred sauces, and I've blended jarred sauces in order to get rid of the chunkiness (I clearly love my children dearly). It works OK, but I'd rather have a sauce that we all really like, that isn't full of sugar (which the jarred brands are), and is much more delicious.
This recipe comes from Sandy Thomas, Holistic Health Coach (www.zenchoice.com). In the final healthy cooking class I took with Sandy last month, we made this sauce and enjoyed it with our lunch that day and it was delicious! I knew I'd make it often. Sandy recommends keeping one container of the sauce in the fridge and the rest in the freezer to pull out when needed. If you are local and want more information about Sandy's services, please give me a call!
Brennan prepared this sauce mid-morning, and after errands that afternoon, rushed home to stir and taste test. We seasoned and finished off the sauce that evening while I was making the pan roasted cherry tomatoes.
My recipe is slightly modified from Sandy's original. This is an easily customizable recipe to your family's tastes. And because it cooks in the crock pot - it couldn't be easier!
We started by sauteing a diced onion in olive oil until tender and translucent (~5 minutes). Then we added crushed garlic for another minute.
We transferred the sauteed vegetables, the cans of crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, dried Italian seasonings, and fennel seeds to the crock pot. Stirred, and set it to cook on low for 6 hours.
That evening we tasted it and Brennan thought it needed sweetness. Per Sandy's recipe we added a tablespoon of honey. Then we added about 2 tsp of Kosher salt, some fresh black pepper, and a little bit of garlic powder. Because the sauce was a little took chunky for my family, Brennan used the "soup puree-er" to smooth it out. (see photo above)
We chopped about 1/4 c of fresh basil, and served the pasta over penne.
Then I divvied up the remaining sauce into 4 containers for the fridge and freezer. It's so great to have a delicious sauce on hand!
Funny Story - the mason who will be repairing our chimney this summer stopped by mid-day. He was at the front door and I could tell he was kind of distracted. Finally he said - what are you cooking? I told him marinara and offered to put some in a container for him to take home. He shyly turned me down, but I could tell it was hard to do. The house smelled wonderful all day!
Thank you, Sandy, for another delicious recipe!
Double click to print as a 5x7 recipe card.