I was lucky to have a neighbor’s mom, Kay, share her delicious marinara recipe years ago. When she was younger, she had lived next to a young woman from Italy who had shared her recipe. I don’t think it could be any more delicious or simple. I’m happy to pass it on.
- 1-6 oz can tomato paste
- 2-15 oz cans tomato sauce
- whole onion, diced
- several garlic cloves, minced (I use home-roasted garlic that I freeze)
- 1 tsp. dried basil (or more to taste)
- 1 tsp. dried oregano (or more to taste)
- ground cinnamon
- ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon-1 tablespoon sugar or sweetener (to cut acidity of tomato paste and sauce; taste-test)
- (Optional: diced mushrooms, diced zucchini, fresh parsley leaves, or your choice)
- (Optional: I drained and pressed a block of firm tofu; small-diced it in an egg-slicer–north/south, then east-west; then froze it. Freezing tofu makes it’s texture more chewy. I thawed the frozen diced tofu by running it under warm water, and added it to the marinara before simmering.)
Saute the onions and garlic in a small amount of olive oil, or with a small amount of water or vegetable broth for oil-free.
Add in basil, oregano and can of tomato paste. Stir well until everything is mixed, coated with tomato paste, and warmed.
Add in cans of tomato sauce and stir til well mixed. Stir in sugar and vegetables and tofu, if using.
On top, sprinkle equal parts cinammon and allspice until top of sauce is just covered with brown ground spices. DO NOT STIR.
Cover, and let simmer for 45 minutes. Stir sauce, and serve. This can be refrigerated or frozen.
Serve over whole wheat pasta, or use in recipes needing spaghetti sauce.
Note: I buy Bionaturae brand whole wheat pasta; we love it. If you don’t like a certain brand, try others. And don’t cook it until its mushy; cook it al dente. Tom just ate this photographed-plateful and loved it. “Did you taste the mushrooms?” I asked. “Yes!” “And did you taste the tofu?” “Uh, no… I must’ve thought it was mushrooms!?” he said. And then he had a second helping.