A jar of marinara sauce is the ultimate meal starter. Toss some pasta in it and you have a simple dinner. Brown some ground pork or beef, add seasonings and simmer with your marinara and a meat sauce is born. Layer into lasagna, pour into my all time favorite pot of soup, use as pizza sauce, simmer meatballs in it…you get the idea. I’ve been making this marinara for years – I love that the carrots provide sweetness without adding sugar and the flexibility of using any type of canned or jarred tomato that happens to be on sale. The sauce freezes beautifully as well.
Simple Marinara Sauce
1/2 cup olive oil
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 28 ounce cans tomatoes (can be whole, diced, crushed or any combination)
1 parmesan rind
2 bay leaves
In a dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the carrots, onion, celery & garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Season with salt and pepper. Pour in the tomatoes, parmesan rind and bay leaves and stir.
Simmer, partially covered for about 45 minutes to an hour.
Remove the rind and bay leaves and blend sauce using an immersion blender in the pot or transfer to a blender carefully. Serve or save!