Comforting, Simple and Fast Marinara Sauce

This past weekend was a blur!  On Friday, the husband and I (I like saying that 🙂 ) flew into Evansville, IN for a wedding.  By Sunday at 6:30 we were home. Well, home after a brief stint of searching for the car on 4 different levels of the parking garage. I actually like flying, airports fascinate me.  They are these strange little timeless worlds where everyone has a defined purpose and seeing someone bellying up to the bar at 8:00 a.m. is actually not an unusual sight.

Upon arriving home, Thomas and I each engaged in our separate rituals: I immediately starting unpacking in an attempt to get pack to normal.  Thomas, he cracked open a beer and settled into the basement to watch the final round of the US Open he had on the DVR. On the way through the airport he made several frenzied actions to avoid seeing or hearing anything on the multiple big screen TVs in the bars. He gets really excited about these tournaments.  During last year’s Ryder Cup this happened:

After settling in and watching a little golf we were hungry and definitely did not want another meal out so I whipped up my quick mariana sauce, it is the perfect mix of fresh, tangy tomato, spicy garlic and basil.  Better yet: it all comes together in under 30 minutes.

Basic Marinara Sauce 


  • 1 can of crushed San Marzano Tomatoes–the San Marzano part is necessary.  Get the can that looks like this if possible:
The only place I can get this particular kind is Harris Teeter but there is a noticeable flavor difference

The only place I can get this particular kind is Harris Teeter but there is a noticeable flavor difference

  • some olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • a handfull of chopped basil (about 4 leaves) and parsley (flat leaf, a small bunch.)
  • a dash of red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 white onion diced
  • tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf


  1. Pour a little olive oil in a pan and add the garlic and hot pepper flakes.  Let this sit to infuse while you prepare the other ingredients.
  2. Heat the pan to a medium heat and add onion.  Sauté until translucent.
  3. Add the tomato paste and stir it around so it coats the onion.  Let this cook for a minute or 2 to get rid of the raw tomato taste
  4. Pour in the can of tomatoes, herbs and the bay leaf.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Let simmer on a low heat for 15-20 minutes while you prepare pasta.
  6. Once pasta is cooked and drained, dump it in with the sauce and cook it together for a few minutes.

Tags: , , , ,

Categories: Pasta, Recipes


A former English teacher living in Stuttgart, Germany who finds some sanity and peace through cooking.


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One Comment on “Comforting, Simple and Fast Marinara Sauce”

  1. Deborah
    June 21, 2013 at 3:16 pm #

    Go TJ!

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