Easy Homemade Marinara Sauce

by Holly on January 4, 2011

in dinner,Italian,recipes,silliness

I can get crabby really easily.

Sometimes it’s just a bunch of petty little things that add up into an annoying amalgamation of frustration. Other times, there’s one distinct action that completely sets me off. Nine times out of 10, it’s the former. But there was that one time that I found out Jake Gyllenhaal and Taylor Swift were dating and almost declared feudal war on this irritatingly nice, blonde country wannabe singer, so sometimes it is in fact the latter.

Taylor clearly doesn’t know who she’s messing with.

The next addition of the 15 Nuttiest Celebrity Stalkers of All Time, that’s who.

On these crabby days of mine, I want healthy comfort food.

I need something hearty and filling, yet light so it doesn’t weigh me down. I need something to warm me from within but not too warm me too much so I can still enjoy a hot cup of peppermint green tea afterwards. Most of all, I just need something deliciously yummy to hit my lips.

To fulfill this high maintenance request, I turn to Easy Homemade Marinara Sauce.

It’s easy.

It’s homemade.

It’s chock full of lycopene and good-for-you antioxidants.

It’s tomatoey with the perfect amount of Italian spice.

It’s my go-to comfort food when I wonder if Jake Gyllenhaal will ever love me.

Easy Homemade Marinara Sauce

1 T minced garlic
2 T olive oil
1 small onion, diced
26 ounces strained tomatoes
1 (6-oz.) can tomato paste
1 T salt-free Italian seasoning
1/4 t cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes
1 packet NuNaturals Stevia*
salt + pepper, to taste**

*one packet is equal to roughly 1/8 t (1 T sugar or 1 t agave syrup would also make suitable substitutions)

**I used no salt tomatoes + Italian seasoning. If your tomatoes + seasoning come with salt added in, I would suggest less salt to taste.

In a saucepan over medium heat, saute the olive oil, garlic and diced onion until the onion is translucent. Add your tomatoes and tomato paste, mix well and bring the sauce to a boil. Once it is boiling, turn the heat to low and add your seasonings. Let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

Makes roughly 4 to 5 cups of sauce

The best part of this marinara sauce is by far deciding what to make with it.

Does my crabby self feel like stomping around my apartment like an 8-year-old eating English muffin pizzas with spinach, roasted red pepper + mozzarella and bemoaning the fact Mama Everythingtarian burped to me on the phone while I tried to vent my frustrations today?


Or, do I feel like completely forgetting about the crabbiness and instead, dream of traveling back to Italy by pretending I’m at a sidewalk cafe in Rome eating the most delectably handmade pasta ever and gaining back those 25 pounds I’ve lost over the past years?

Perhaps that could work too.

But what about a mix of both – the youthful AND the Italian?

A Roasted Red Pepper + Marinara Soup with Italian Dunker Croutons, perhaps?

Yes. In fact, I think I will make that tomorrow. Because Jake + Taylor have officially broken up, and suddenly, I’m not feeling so crabby anymore…


rebecca lustig January 4, 2011 at 10:15 pm

i prefer homemade sauce over store bought ANY DAY. even if it takes more work. the smell, the taste is incomparable!

Amanda (Eating Up) January 4, 2011 at 10:21 pm

I can’t wait to hear the song about the break up. Like, really can’t wait.

Erica D (Gratitouille) January 4, 2011 at 11:48 pm

I second that! I love Tay Tay’s breakup songs. And I’ve been saying this since 5th grade, but…I think marinara sauce should take its rightful place on the condiment island, amongst the ketchup and mustard packets. It would make my life so much better!

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) January 4, 2011 at 11:54 pm

The cheese in the 2nd to last pic just looks perfect. And I always say i dont miss cheese. Til i see pics like that :) hah!

Great job on the sauce. I just throw tomatoes and seasonings in my vita and whir til I get something that resembles red sauce and call it a day :) Your method is clearly more precise with probably better results!

Erica January 5, 2011 at 5:15 am

They broke up? I thought it was a little odd that he was dating someone …so young. Anyways- this sauce looks delicious. There is nothing like a good marinara sauce. I could eat is straight from the pot with some bread. But those english muffin pizzas look amazing.

Blog is the New Black January 5, 2011 at 5:22 am

I love healthy comfort food. Looks wonderful- I love a homemade sauce, but I find myself crunched for time. I need to make some and freeze it!

Amy B @ Second City Randomness January 5, 2011 at 6:11 am

I agree with the comment above about comfort food- marinara is usually a key ingrediant for some of my favorites.

And thank goodness T-Swizzle and Jake G broke up. I may have referred to her as a whiny bitch child just this week. I would feel sort of bad about it… but it’s sort of true.

Lauren January 5, 2011 at 6:23 am

Ahhh, mariana sauce is one of the most versatile things and you’ve found some of the best ways to incorporate it. Okay, if you do make that soup, please please please share! It sounds delightful!

Matt January 5, 2011 at 6:45 am

I LOVE me some homemade marinara ;)

Tessa January 5, 2011 at 6:57 am

Ha! Yeahh I live in Nashville – they were all around this town on their coffee dates. Note: she wasn’t old enough to drink until like a week ago. Which isn’t a big deal except for he’s like 30 something.

..sorry, I know way to much!

sofia January 5, 2011 at 7:15 am

two things:

1. add parmesan to pasta while cooking. a lot of it. you won’t regret it.
2. i saw jake, solo, at a sports store in manhattan. he was wearing a hipster hat (AKA, hat with ear flaps and fluffy interior). the boyfriend is convinced it WASN’T him (he be jealous, yo) but upon further research he had been spotted at the same store just a week before. yeah. now, i do have immense feelings for this attractive man, but not like your sitch so i didn’t go totally bonkers upon eyeing him, but only sorta. he looked good/ super aloof. it was a moment. you shoulda been there. i think you coulda made your move. another reason you’ve gotta visit nyc!

Sami January 5, 2011 at 7:59 am

praise the lorddddd. :) congrats on the breakup. now there’s NOTHING standing in your way :D you might wanna bring jaky some of this marinara. it’ll be sure to make him swoon ;)


Anica January 5, 2011 at 8:16 am

I saw the article about the break up and it made me think of you!!!!!!!

Kacy January 5, 2011 at 8:46 am

I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that he was ever dumb enough to date her. Gross. Annoying. Hate.
As far as your marinara goes? Delicious. Genius. Love.

chelsey @ clean eating chelsey January 5, 2011 at 8:58 am

I get really crabby too – like last night when I screamed at the Husband about how the last thing I wanted to be doing at that moment in time was making him dinner. Whoooopsies.

I need some marinara in my life.

Jen January 5, 2011 at 9:17 am

MMMMMMM. I’m drooling over those mini pizzas. Delightful!


Katie January 5, 2011 at 9:18 am

Ummm….marinara. When done correctly, it is delicious. When not…blech.

I’m picky with my sauces. Your’s looks perfect.

Madeline - Greens and Jeans January 5, 2011 at 9:22 am

Their whole relationship made me sick to my stomach. At least we know she will write a hit song about it.

brandi January 5, 2011 at 9:27 am

yum. I love homemade pasta sauces. This one looks so rich and delicious!

Teri [a foodie stays fit] January 5, 2011 at 12:05 pm

I love homemade marinara sauce but haven’t made it in ages. thanks for the stevia substitution info. I’m an artificial sweetener moron.

Graze With Me January 5, 2011 at 12:06 pm

I was just about to say, {THEY BROKE UP!!!} but I see you already knew that. Yay!!

Love the sauce, thanks for the recipe too. I’m horrible about just buying the jarred stuff way too often.

Megan (Braise the Roof) January 5, 2011 at 2:11 pm

I haven’t had an English muffin pizza in WAY too long. When I was a kid, I used to ask my mom to make me English muffin cheese pizzas and tomato soup all. the. time. I gotta start asking her to make them again and then…bring them to me. At work. Would that be weird? ;)

julie January 5, 2011 at 3:00 pm

deej (my mom) and i spent a good portion of the end of the summer canning our own fresh tomato sauce. we spent hours doing it and got about 5 jars out of the 50,000 hours. we just opened our last jar. the jars were supposed to last through the winter. it’s only december. i’m glad you posted this in a nut shell haha

megan @ the oatmeal diaries January 5, 2011 at 4:51 pm

The day you and Jake are united, you should whisk him to your house and make this sauce for dinner. It looks tasty! Or maybe your almond meal pancakes? Hmm, so many ways to woo him…

Lauren January 5, 2011 at 6:37 pm

Yum! Your sauce looks really good :)

I was at the gym watching Food Network and Taylor Swift is doing a CoverGirl commercial… she looked stupid and it made me think of you. No wonder Jake broke up with her, he’s clearly in love with you :)

amanda January 5, 2011 at 6:57 pm

i am seriously surprised i’m not on that crazy stalker list. because boy can i stalk!

also, i’m allll about you going for jake. him and tay tay have already called it quits. i think he’s coming for you.

what a killer looking dish you whipped up, aces.

Rachael January 5, 2011 at 7:16 pm

Way to cling to the dream. Hope is hard to kill, and maybe these splits come in pairs. Should Kate Middleton be shown the door, you might have a tough decision on your hands.

BroccoliHut January 5, 2011 at 7:19 pm

I just happen to have half a box of Pomi in my fridge right now. Glorious!

Diana @ frontyardfoodie January 5, 2011 at 9:32 pm

Okay, I was totally weirded out that they were dating….so I think they weren’t and that it was just some sort of media scam. I mean, isn’t that pediphilia? haha She’s like a friggin’ kid and he’s definitely a MAN.

katie January 5, 2011 at 11:11 pm

YUMMMMMMM this looks so goood and EASYYYY!
love you hottie!

Megan (The Runner's Kitchen) January 6, 2011 at 10:52 am

huzzah for celeb breakups! especially when one half of the couple is your future hubs. i mean, how is he supposed to meet and fall in love with you if he’s dating a pre-teen country singer?

i love marinara sauce! especially when it’s accompanied by a big Italian calzone or stromboli. mmm.

Sarah January 7, 2011 at 9:58 am

Yum. Those english muffin pizzas look absolutely perfect for a comfort-food-eating meal.

Lynn @ The Actors Diet January 7, 2011 at 3:08 pm

i still can’t get over that jake and taylor ever were an item to begin with…

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