For an embarrassingly long time, I didn’t know you could make marinara.
I didn’t know you could easily open a few cans, chop a few veggies, and throw everything in a pot, creating a meal with love, all while making your kitchen smell like an Italian restaurant.
(Big bonus there, my friends.)
I pretty much thought it required a stroll down the ethnic food aisle, and then deciding between Prego and Ragu.
(And just for the record, I am choosing to blame this lack on knowledge on my ancestry. I am many things, but Italian would not be one of them.)
Then, one day, I stumbled upon a recipe for marinara.
I mean, who knew?
At any rate, over the last few years, I’ve become quite adept at making my own marinara.
always try to gather the ingredients ahead of time, as there is nothing worse than discovering I don’t have a certain ingredient while in the midst of my baking or cooking adventure.
Sucks the fun out of the whole experience in a big hurry.
At any rate, this is one of my go to meals when I am feeling a serious lack of ambition.
Serves 6-8 ish
1 T. olive oil
2-4 cloves or garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
2 carrots (I cut into thin coins, but you just do you…they just need to cook)
2 28 oz. cans whole, peeled tomatoes
1 8 oz. package fresh mushrooms, sliced (I’ve used baby bella and white)
1 T. basil
1 T. oregano
1 T. rosemary
1 T. thyme
salt to taste
optional: Italian sausage, meatballs, or crumbles (I can only vouch for the sausages)
Heat oil in large pot. Add garlic and onion. Play with it until the onion becomes translucent and the smell of garlic permeates the air. Add carrots and green pepper. Cook until crisp tender. Add cans of tomatoes (with juice) and spices. Stir and let simmer for about a half hour or so, stirring occasionally, smashing tomatoes with spoon as they become soft. Then, blend with an emersion blender or transfer to a regular blender. BE CAREFUL. Hot liquids like to blow off the top off of blenders. (That’s why I stick to my immersion blender. Cleaning the ceiling does not rank very high on my fun meter.) If using a blender, pour the sauce back into the pot. Next, add mushrooms and protein (if so desired). Cook until sausages are heated through (vegan sausages don’t need to be precooked) and the mushrooms are tender.
Serve over pasta of choice. Sprinkle with nooch.