Pasta with Marinara Sauce is enough for a meal, but you can bulk it up with a sauteed Italian sausage, a can of chopped clams, or chicken; or even mix in an anchovy or two from a can - it's all good. And don't forget to top it with some dried, or fresh shaved, parmesan cheese.
You can keep it vegetarian and add any favorite steamed veggies like: Italian squash, cauliflower, zucchini, broccoli, or a jar of any favorite marinated veggie, too.
For extra flavor I use fresh herbs from my patio garden, but you can use any dried Italian herbs (or a premix).
Tomato sauce is cheap at any grocery store. Sometimes I use whole or crushed tomatoes from the can - that makes it a rustic sauce. Just break apart the tomatoes as they heat up.
You can use the sauce to top any pizza crust you make, or buy premade from the grocery store. (I would advise running the sauce in the blender for a few seconds to smooth it out.) I have a fun Pita Pizza Recipe a click away here, that's perfect for my homemade Marinara Sauce. And type the word "pasta" in the search box at the top right side of this page and hit enter -- to see a bunch of my other cheap$kate pasta recipes.
So, if that paycheck is running late and you're down to your last dimes, or just feel like keeping it simple, then cook up my cheap and Easy Marinara Sauce and add it to some inexpensive pasta.And bulk it all up with a favorite steamed veggie, or crumble in some sauteed Italian sausage.
Easy Marinara Sauce - VIDEO
Play it here, video runs 2 minutes, 32 seconds.
My YouTube video link for viewing or embedding, just click here.
Marinara Sauce Ingredients (2-3 servings)
1 15 ounce can of tomato sauce - any favorite brand, even from a jar.
1/2 onion - chopped. White or yellow is okay.
1 teaspoon garlic - chopped fresh or from a jar.
1 cup water - to clean out the tomato can, and add it to sauce. Okay to use red or white wine, or a favorite broth.
Italian herbs - about 1 teaspoon dried, or 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped. I used basil, oregano and parsley. Okay to use a dried herb Italian mix or any combination of dried you have on hand.
1 tablespoon oil - for frying onion and garlic.
Pepper to taste - Most canned tomato sauce has a lot of salt, so I don't add any, but you can add salt, if you want.
Start with the canned tomato. You can use any store bought type you like. I used a plain can of tomato sauce and added some sauteed onion, garlic and herbs. Here's how I did it.
First saute 1/2 chopped onion in a tablespoon of oil over a medium heat. Cook until soft, about 3-5 minutes. Add chopped garlic and saute another minute.
Pour in a 15 ounce can of tomato sauce. Slosh around half a can of water (broth or wine) and add it to the pan with sauce and sauteed veggies. Mix well and finally add the herbs, fresh or dried.
Cook tomato sauce on a low simmer. You just need to cook the pasta sauce for another 5-10 minutes, so all the flavors combine. This basic Marinara Sauce can be used for any pasta recipe.
For a tomato pizza sauce, then you want to smooth the Marinara Sauce in a blender. When the sauce is cool enough to handle, just pulse it a few times to breakdown the onion pieces.
This recipe is easy to double by using a large can of tomato sauce and, of course, add more of the other ingredients. And if you have a little carrot and celery on hand then go ahead and saute it with the onion for extra flavor.