1 medium onion, diced
4 (or more) cloves garlic, diced
1 tbs tomato paste
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
3/4 cup red wine
1 tbsp dry basil
1 tbsp dry parsley
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp thyme
salt and pepper to taste
1. In a large pot, saute onion in 1 tbs olive oil until you get some color on the onions.
2. Add garlic and tomato paste. Saute for about 2 minutes.
3. Add spices (red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, cumin, paprika) and let cook for 1 minute.
4. Add wine (I had red that day) and let simmer until reduced by half.
5. Once reduced, add dry herbs and let simmer another 5 minutes.
6. Add crushed tomatoes and tomato puree. Simmer for at least 30 minutes on low heat. Taste your sauce. (If it's too acidic, add a tsp of sugar, simmer for 5 minutes, taste, and repeat if needed.)
7. If you have, add some fresh basil and parsley (chopped). Cool and serve when needed.
TA-DA! You've got yourself homemade marinara sauce! While this does take some time to make, you can see how easy it is. While I haven't yet made a big ole batch to freeze, I may one day do it. This is something I can whip up on a weeknight and as the sauce itself simmers, I usually take care of my tot (bathe and change) and the sauce is done. Then I just add some cheese, veggies, and pasta (she's not eating meat right now) and dinner is served! She loves it, I love it, and it's easy! What more can one ask for.
Some variations on this can include just using the spices to doctor up a jar of marinara. You can also saute some ground meat and add that in to simmer afterwards. If you don't want to add the wine, you can always use any variety of broth. That's what I love about recipes such as this. You can make it as versatile as you want and add your own touches to it to make it your own.