Bottled marinara sauce definitely has it’s place in the kitchen. I use it for convenience in a recipe that incorporates it into the meal. However, when the sauce is the focus of the dish and just served over pasta, homemade is the way to go.
Now the key to a good marinara sauce is simmering. In order to get that amazing depth of flavor, the sauce needs time to simmer. That is what the crock pot is such a great option when making sauces.
You can also hide veggies in your sauce when you are making it yourself. This sauce incorporates carrot and celery. My family had now idea that there were veggies in the sauce when I served it.
- 1 stalk celery, cut into chunks
- 1 medium yellow onion, cut into chunks
- 1 medium carrot, cut into chunks
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 (28 oz) cans crushed tomatoes
- 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
- 2 cups chicken stock or water
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- ½ tsp dried basil
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes, optional
- Place celery, onion, carrot, and garlic in a food processor and process until finely chopped.
- In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add in processed celery/carrot mixture and cook for about 5 minutes, or until tender. Add mixture to a 5-7 quart crockpot.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken stock or water, honey, and all spices: stir to combine. Cover and cook on low heat 8-10 hours.
- This can be stored refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to one month. Makes 10 cups.
Recipe adapted from Crazy for Crust.