Monday, January 31, 2011

Frugan: Simple Roasted Garlic Marinara

Pasta is probably one of my favorite foods and I have it at least once a week. I am so thrilled that Market Basket carries brown rice pasta for $1.99/lb.  I like to bulk up my portion with veggies and legumes. 2 oz of pasta doesn't look like a lot when you eat it alone, but combined with healthier additions, it can be a very satisfying meal.

When I wrote about how I approach eating the way I do, I mentioned the importance of having sauces prepared and on hand. My Three Base Sauces are:

Having these sauces on hand along with 1 or 2 cooked legumes and 1 cooked grain enables me to throw meals together in less than 30 minutes.

So, since I have posed other base sauce recipes, here is my Simple Marinara recipe. I call for 4 T of Olive Oil in this recipe, but you don't have to use that much. If you are using less then use 1 T of the balsamic vinegar to caramelize the garlic. The key to this simple sauce is to go lowlowlow and slowslowlsow! Start with a COLD pan and caramelize the garlic over a period of 20 minutes at least.

Simple Marinara
  • 4 T evoo
  • 10 cloves garlic sliced
  • 1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes 
  • 1 t marjoram
  • 1 t rosemary
  • 2 t dried basil
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes with their liquid
  • Salt/Pepper to taste
  • 1 c fresh basil or parsley
  1. In a cold pan place the oil and garlic in the pan. Turn heat to low and slowly caramelize the garlic
  2. When garlic is golden and fragrant, add the spices, turn heat up to medium and add the spices. 
  3. Cook spices for 1 minutes, then deglaze with balsamic
  4. Add tomatoes, bring to a simmer, cover for 20 minutes
  5. Taste and adjust seasonings, stir in fresh herbs
  6. If the sauce is too acidic, add 1 shredded carrot or 2 t sugar
There you have it. Once you make this sauce, you will not go back to jarred! It is so tasty and delicious and freezes beautifully.

Over the next week or so I will post my favorite Nutty Parmesan recipes.
What sauces to you keep on hand?


  1. Mm, I'm a pasta gal myself..well I've been bred that way, lol!

  2. i love a good simple marinara. so many recipes call for too many ingredients and it just gets too complicated. totally going to have to give your roasted garlic marinara a try - the technique with the garlic sounds really cool! i hear ya on 2 oz of pasta not being much on its own, but bulking it up with lots of other awesomenesses is the way to go!

  3. Ha ha...I just figured out that evoo stands for extra-virgin olive oil. I've been craving red sauce lately. This sounds really good. I agree with Jessy. A good simple marinara is one of life's greatest pleasures!

  4. I have been making my own marinara lately, and it's so easy and cheap! And tastes better than the jarred stuff -- a win-win-win, definitely.

  5. I will try caramelizing my garlic in the marinara I'm planning to make tonight, sounds awesome. Looking forward to the nutty parmesan recipe!

  6. Thanks for the recipe and the garlic cooking lesson. This goes on our menu this week. I haven't been eating enough pasta lately. :)

  7. i def bulk up with veggies too! my fav pasta is dreamfields (that kind that i blogged about, they say most of the carbs dont get digested) it has protein (wheat gluten) and fiber. i think you can get it for 1.99 a box on sale(if you ever wanted to try it) i checked out that dry fyinging link you put up, that does sound easy:)lol. i guess i dont keep a homemade sauce on hand. store bought sugar free ragu is usually in the pantry though...not the same thing.

  8. 10 cloves of garlic? This sounds like my kind of recipe/sauce! Yum!


  9. This sounds like a lovely sauce. I love pasta too, and recently tried some brown rice pasta...I'm totally down with it! I'm trying to be GF in February...just to see what it's like and if I notice any glad there are GF pastas out there.

  10. I like to have a home made cinnamon applesauce I use as an oil free salad dressing. Lately, my other go-to has been a tamarind barbecue sauce.

  11. pickygourmet, that's a great idea! I'm going to try that.

  12. this sauce sounds great! I love garlic going to make this next week!

  13. I love-love-love this sauce! I had it last night over bulgur and TVP and I'm pretty sure that's going to be my lunch today! Thanks for sharing this recipe! :-)

  14. Can't wait to try this, thanks! I've been using mung bean noodles from the asian market - My 3 year old and I both really like the texture (she won't eat rice noodles) and they're $1 for a pack of 8 nested servings. I think you'd like them! Plus they come with a magenta mesh bag that's really fun when you're 3 :) They're clear, but you don't notice in marinara or pesto.