Quick Marinara

When I got home from work today I had no clue what I was going to prepare for dinner. I didn’t have anything defrosted and there were no left overs. So I decided to make pasta. This is a quick marinara sauce my grandmother used to make. The only thing I didn’t have in the house was fresh basil, which is essential to the sauce. Dried basil will have to do.

Every Italian pantry has a stock of these ingredients: pasta, canned peeled tomatoes, garlic. With these essentials you can make a delicious fresh marinara sauce in less than 15 minutes. As long as it takes the water to boil and pasta to cook you can have this great sauce ready. So put that jar of Prego down and learn how to make this sauce. You deserve it.

I tried a new pasta I picked up at Shop Rite the other day. The brand is Pastificio Riscossa, and the type of pasta is Creste di Gallo. It looked interesting, a shape I never had before. Plenty of holes and ridges to hold whatever sauce you put over it. It was pretty good. I recommend it. Of course, any pasta will do for this dish.

Marinara Sauce

1 – 28oz can of Italian peeled tomatoes

2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon salt + to taste

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

about 6 leaves of fresh basil, torn into pieces or 1/2 teaspoon of dried basil

1 tablespoon butter

1 pound of your favorite pasta

Place a large pot of water, about 5 quarts, on high flame with 1 tablespoon of salt for the pasta.

Pour the olive oil into a large saute pan or sauce pot over medium heat. Add sliced garlic and cook till garlic just starts to turn brown.

Add the can of peeled tomatoes. Fill the tomato can a quarter of the way up with water and pour into the pan.

Mash the tomatoes with a potato masher till you have small chunks. If you don’t have a potato masher just squeeze the tomatoes with your hands into the pot. Stir in the sugar, red pepper flakes, salt, black pepper, and dried basil.  Stir well. If you are using fresh basil don’t add it until the end and add it with the cooked pasta.

Simmer the sauce uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Just before the pasta is done , add 1 tablespoon of butter to the sauce and stir it in until it melts. This gives the sauce a nice rich flavor.

Drain the cooked pasta well and place it directly in the sauce, mixing well, along with the fresh basil torn into pieces.

Serve the pasta with some grated cheese and a salad and you have a meal in less than 30 minutes. How’s that Rachel Ray!


About Peter Bocchieri

Peter was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and is a second generation Italian-American. He has a degree in Journalism from Long Island University and is an avid photographer, gardener and pet owner. Now that Peter is retired, he is relaxing at his home in North East Pennsylvania and cooking for his sons, Michael and Joseph, family and friends. Peter's passion for food was inspired by his Mother's and Grandmother's cooking, but at the age of 10 Peter felt he could do it better himself, so he did.
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2 Responses to Quick Marinara

  1. Janine says:

    Each day I can’t wait to see what’s cooking!

  2. Pingback: Eggplant Rollatine | cookingitaliancomfortfood

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