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Basic Marinara Sauce (Make Ahead Meal)

Hi Everyone,

This week I went away for work and I couldn’t leave my Husband without any dinner for the week, so I made a Basic Marinara Sauce for him to have during the week.  The sauce turned out fantastic and it took all I could not make a big bowl of pasta for myself.  Now that I am writing this, I am so craving pasta.

The Sauce is rich, chunky and so delicious, it blows the jarred pasta sauce out of the water.  It’s made with simple ingredients that you probably have in your pantry.  I bought everything at Trader Joe’s.  The recipe takes under 30 minutes to make and it makes 4 cups of this amazing sauce. Enough to feed a family or one super hungry Husband.

To make the sauce I used vegetable broth and cooked my onions, garlic and chili flakes in it.  I added a big can of plum tomatoes that I roughly chopped up since I didn’t have chopped tomatoes and cooked it with some tomato paste for about 15 minutes.  Once it was done I added a little balsamic vinegar, fresh basil, oregano and salt and pepper to taste.  I learned the balsamic vinegar trick from a lady at the Olive Oil Press Company in Sonoma.  She said it will add dimension and so much flavor to the pasta sauce.  She was right.  You must try it, if you never have before.

I also made my Husband some pasta to go with the sauce.  Just cook your favorite pasta according to direction and then when it is done, drain it and add olive oil.  This will prevent it from sticking. Just store it in the refrigerator until ready to serve.  When ready to eat, add some pasta to a plate, top with Basic Marinara Sauce and microwave for about 2 minutes or so.  Top with Parmesan cheese and you have an already made meal.  How great is that?  I used OXO Food Storage containers with Snap Lids, perfect for making meals ahead.

Basic Marinara Sauce (Make Ahead Meal)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A rich, simple quick tomato sauce that is perfect over pasta, dipping in bread or making pizza with.
Recipe type: Sauce
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4 cups
  • ½ cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. chili pepper flakes
  • 28 oz can plum tomatoes, roughly chop the tomatoes or diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp, balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. basil, chopped small
  • 1 tsp. oregano, fresh or dried
  • ½ tsp. salt (to taste)
  • ½ tsp. ground pepper (to taste)
  1. In a large skillet, over medium heat; add broth and bring to a simmer. Stir in onion, garlic and pepper flakes. Cook until tender; about 4 minutes. Turn heat to low and stir in canned tomatoes and tomato paste. Cook for 15 minutes; stirring occasionally.
  2. Take off the heat and stir in balsamic vinegar, basil, oregano and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Serve with pasta, bread, pizza etc..
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ½ cup Calories: 33 Fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 7.8 Sugar: 2.9 Sodium: 45 Fiber: 1.4 Protein: 14.7 Cholesterol: 0

I actually feel really good leaving my Husband this meal while I am away.  Plus it’s great for a make ahead week night meal.  I love simple and this is as simple as it gets.  I may do this on Sunday’s so I don’t have to worry about dinner, at least one night during the week.

Have a great weekend!



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