Over the many years I’ve been making marinara sauce, I thought that I was doing everything right. After a lot of experimenting with ingredients, the perfect sauce was created.
Turns out what I made was kind of a copy of the spaghetti sauces that come in a jar. It is really tasty sauce but it’s not the kind of marinara you would find in Italy. It’s just an Americanized version.
A recent article in the Tampa Bay Times got me to rethink how delightful and fresh marinara should be. Instead of a lot of spices mixed in, only a couple of spices are used and the results are amazing. I prepared this marinara last night and was skeptical of how good it might be. Both Mary Jo and I were blown away by the taste. It’s simple but fantastic. Hope you try it.
All the thanks go to the chef in this article, Lidia Bastianich, (Lidia’s Commonsense Italian Cooking, 2013). And, everything is a little better with lots of garlic!
This is so simple, but so good tasting. We had it with some pan fried hot Italian sausage. Pick up Lidia’s new book if you love Italian. Find it on Amazon by clicking here.
Marinara Sauce Revisited
- 1 28 oz . can of San Marzano tomatoes
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 7 garlic cloves , peeled and slivered, (no mincing)
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- fresh basil , 1 large sprig
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 pound cooked spaghetti
- Open the can of tomatoes and pour into a bowl. Break up the tomatoes with your hands.
- Put 1 cup of water in the empty can and slosh it around to get the tomato juices.
- In a large skillet, heat on medium and add the olive oil.
- Once the oil is hot, add the garlic. Once the garlic is sizzling, not browned, add the tomatoes and the water from the can.
- Add the pepper flakes and salt, then float the whole basil sprig on top.
- Let it wilt in and simmer the sauce until it is thickened and the oil on the surface is orange. This takes 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove the wilted basil.
- Immediately add the cooked pasta to the sauce, blend together and serve.