Main Dish Pasta

Quick Marinara Sauce

Quick Marinara Sauce – Some sauces take HOURS to prepare.  Some sauces come in a glass jar, but alas, I had none in a jar.  My favorite is Trader Joe’s Marinara – though I wish it wasn’t so watery.  I needed something NOW for our craving of Mozzarella Sticks.  Still the yummiest ever and my son did all the dredging and coating!  Woo hoo!  Cuz that is the messiest part.  (Hint: use tongs instead of your fingers!)  Or use the sauce in one of our all time fav recipes: Italian Sausage Tortellini.

Back to the marinara:  if you have a craving for getting a sauce just right this is for you.  Plus it doesn’t make a HUGE amount.  You can always triple the recipe, but we don’t eat a ton of pasta and I don’t need a lot of sauce sitting in the freezer pre-made.  If you DO like a lot of sauce, feel free to cool the sauce and freeze flat in a ziplock bag for up to 3 months.  The easiest way to do this is to find a large container like old large tin can or cleaned out large yogurt container and put your bag inside.  Then, fold over the top of the ziplock bag.  Pour your sauce and then the sauce gets in the bag and not in the ziptop.  Freeze flat and that way when you want to thaw it, it will thaw faster due to the increased surface area.

I have other sauce recipes that take a long time in the slow cooker.  But if you realize that you want to make pasta and only have canned tomato sauce and maybe even tomato paste – this for you!

Quick Marinara Sauce
Serves: 2 cups
  • 1 Tb. olive oil
  • ½ cup onion, diced fine
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (or 2 if you love garlic)
  • 16 oz. can tomato sauce (or 1-8oz can tomato sauce and 4 oz. can tomato paste and add water)
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • ½ tsp. dried rosemary
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • salt and pepper
  1. Heat olive oil in a medium or large pot on medium heat.
  2. Add the diced onion and saute for 2-3 minutes or until translucent.
  3. Add the garlic clove and cook 30 seconds.
  4. Add the tomato sauce (or sauce and paste combo with water), herbs and sugar. Make sure to watch your pot! It will bubble all over the place if you don't turn the heat down once it starts to bubble!
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Once it starts to bubble, the sauce is finished. You can keep it on warm until ready to serve.
Recipe adapted slightly from


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