One of my favorite shows to watch is the Rachael Ray Show. My favorite episodes of hers are when the whole show consists of cooking and sharing stories. On a recent show, she had Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentis preparing some meals and sharing some of their stories. I'm a huge fan of Bobby and Giada. I record Giada's show every weekend, and Josh and I are hooked on Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction.
On this episode, Giada told the story of how she made her marinara sauce for the first time for her husband Todd. When I saw the ingredients, I was kind of in disbelief at first. The sauce recipe just seemed too simple.
A sauce containing, carrots, celery, salt, pepper, a whole onion, garlic, bay leaves and two cans of crushed tomatoes (not pictured). Really, that was it! Bring the sauce to a simmer and let it go for an hour! Seeing as I'm pregnant and some nights I'm not going to want to slave away over the stove for hours, this recipe was perfect for me!
So last night I made this for dinner. I really did not want to cook dinner at all! In fact, all I wanted to do was lay on the couch. But Josh has been faithfully doing all the cooking for the past few weeks and I felt he deserved a night off. By the time he got home, dinner was just about ready! While I fished out the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, and bay leaves, Josh tossed the pasta with parmesan cheese and then he distributed the sauce while I got the garlic bread cut.
The neat thing about this recipe is that it's true Italian cooking. The carrots give the sauce sweetness, while the celery cuts the acidity of the canned tomatoes and the rest just flavors the sauce. The dinner was gobbled up by everyone. So, if you're looking to break away from some jarred marinara sauce that you buy already made at the store, try making this flavorful and easy sauce instead!
Homemade Marinara Sauce with Pasta
2 32-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
1 medium onion, peeled and left whole
2 stalks celery, cut in half
2 carrots, peeled and cut in half
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tso freshly ground black pepper
2 dried bay leaves
2-3 TB butter, at room temp
5 fresh basil leaves
1 pound fusilli or other small cut pasta (we used rotini)
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
In a large pot, add the crushed tomatoes, garlic, onion, celery, carrots, salt, pepper, and bay leaves. Simmer uncovered over low heat until the sauce thickens, about 1 hour. Remove and discard the bay leaves, onion, celery, carrots, and garlic. Tun off the heat; add the butter and fresh basil leaves.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8-10 minutes. Drain and place in a large serving bowl. Toss with the parmesan cheese and marinara sauce, and serve.