Basic Marinara

Becky Luigart-Stayner; Cindy Barr

Rely on a large Dutch oven or stockpot because this recipe makes enough marinara sauce for several meals. Cook at a low simmer--just a few bubbles every few seconds will yield the deepest taste.

This recipe goes with Shrimp Fra Diavolo, Sausage and Pepper Pizza, Spinach and Ricotta-Stuffed Shells, Mussels Marinara, Escarole, Three Bean, and Roasted Garlic Soup, Chicken, Pasta, and Chickpea Stew, Portobello Parmesan, Baked Ziti Casserole, Colorful Vegetable Lasagna, Swordfish with Lemony Red Sauce

Yield: About 12 cups (serving size: 1/2 cup)
Recipe from Cooking Light

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Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 50
  • Calories from fat: 32%
  • Fat: 1.8g
  • Saturated fat: 0.2g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 1.3g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.2g
  • Protein: 1.3g
  • Carbohydrate: 8g
  • Fiber: 2.1g
  • Cholesterol: 0.0mg
  • Iron: 0.5mg
  • Sodium: 270mg
  • Calcium: 28mg

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cups chopped yellow onion (about 3 medium)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic (about 6 cloves)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 (28-ounce) cans no-salt-added crushed tomatoes

Preparation

  1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion to pan; cook 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add sugar and next 7 ingredients (through fennel seeds); cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in vinegar; cook 30 seconds. Add broth and tomatoes; bring to a simmer. Cook over low heat for 55 minutes or until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally.
  2. To store in the freezer: Ladle room-temperature or chilled sauce into plastic containers or zip-top plastic bags. Seal and freeze for up to four months. Consider freezing the sauce in one-cup increments (two servings' worth). That way, you can pull out exactly as much as you want for future meals.
  3. To thaw sauce: Try one of three methods.
  4. 1. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
  5. 2. Place frozen blocks in a saucepan. Cover and bring to a low simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  6. 3. Place frozen blocks in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave at HIGH one minute at a time, stirring after each increment until thawed.
  7. To boost taste: Long stints in the freezer can dull the taste of tomatoes. To perk up thawed sauce, add one-half teaspoon finely grated lemon rind or one teaspoon balsamic vinegar while reheating.
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