marinara sauce in a glass bowl on a wooden surface

Marinara Sauce

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close-up photo of H. Weal, co-author of The Weal MealThis basic marinara — calling for only five ingredients — is proof of how little is needed to deliver satisfying flavor. Some cooks sweeten their sauce to balance the tomatoes’ acidity, but I don’t find this hack necessary. Raw tomatoes may start out a little bitter, but that acerbity disappears all on its own if the sauce is left to simmer long enough. — H. Weal

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic (about 6 cloves)
4 cups crushed tomatoes
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 ounce fresh basil

medium (2-quart) pot with lid
measuring cups and spoons
cooking spoon
cutting board
chef’s knife

1. Combine oil and garlic in pot over medium-high heat. Sauté garlic until golden – about 1 minute.
2. Add tomatoes and salt, then stir until well-combined. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer 45 minutes.
3. Rinse basil thoroughly and then chop.
4. Stir chopped basil into sauce. Cover and simmer 5 minutes, or until sauce has mellowed to your liking.

• No fresh garlic? Use 2 teaspoons garlic powder.
• No fresh basil? Use 2 teaspoons dried basil.
• If the sauce reduces too quickly (begins sticking to the pot), reduce heat to low for the remainder of the simmering time.
BONUS RECIPE: Chunky Marinara: Replace 2 cups crushed tomatoes with 2 cups diced tomatoes. This recipe is a great way to use up leftover or mealy tomatoes. Just chop ‘em up and throw ‘em in!
BONUS RECIPE: Pizza Sauce: Add 2 teaspoons dried oregano during Step 3.

1 hour

1 quart (eight 1/2 cup servings)

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