20 Minute Marinara

Since I snagged such a great deal on those canned organic tomatoes the other day I decided to make a quick marinara that is both easy and cost efficient.  If you have the dried spices or fresh herbs at home and you want just the basic sauce, all it will cost you is the price of a can of tomatoes and a package of your favourite pasta.  Of course, with marinara you can add almost anything – shrimp, zucchini, carrots, capers, olives, spinach, and whatever else is handy that you think might add to the flavour.  That’s the great thing about this sauce – it tastes great just on it’s own but you can change it up each time you make it.  If you can, use fresh herbs with this because it really enhances the flavour.

I found something new this week, well, new to me, anyway – caper berries.  They are those olively looking things in the picture below.  I have used capers before (love them!) but had never seen caper berries.  They are much larger and come with stems.  They are brined in vinegar and taste salty; much like a milder olive.  I thought they made a nice addition.

20 Minute Marinara - simply fresh dinners

Creating this dish is as simple as opening a can, boiling some water,  sautéing your onions and garlic and adding some herbs. Done!  While your sauce cooks for 15 minutes you can prepare anything you would like to toss in at the end – clams, chipotle peppers, black beans, leftover, minced roasted vegetables – even some non fat plain Greek yogurt to make a rose’ sauce.  If you don’t like chunks of tomato in your food, toss it in the blender before serving.

You will find this sauce a little different than other marinaras because I don’t add tomato paste (hate it!) or tomato sauce.  I like to keep this dish as simple and clean as possible and the pasta soaks this up beautifully.

20 Minute Marinara - simply fresh dinners

This sauce traditionally calls for a lot of garlic so naturally it’s a favourite for me.  I used 5 cloves but I’m sure that’s too much for most folks.  The simplicity of this dish really allows you to enjoy the distinct flavours in each bite and I hope it will become a favourite of yours too.  Cheers!

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20 Minute Marinara | Simply Fresh Dinners

 

20 Minute Marinara
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb rice pasta (spaghetti, fettuccine, penne)
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes (organic if you can get it)
  • ¼ cup basil, chopped
  • 3 teaspoons fresh oregano, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon brown sugar or 1 teaspoon of raw honey
  • small handful of parsley, chopped
  • dash of red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta according to directions, drain and set aside.
  2. While pasta is cooking, heat oil in frying pan, add onion and garlic. Saute until soft, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes, basil, oregano, sugar, parsley, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper.
  4. Bring to a boil and then lower heat until simmering gently for 15 minutes.
  5. Add pasta and mix until it has absorbed the sauce.
  6. OPTIONAL:
  7. shrimp, mushrooms, caper berries, and zucchini to name a few.

37 Comments

  • Reply
    Mindy
    January 10, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    I love a good marinara! I make homemade spaghetti sauce often but have never made a true marinara. My husband does not like chunks of tomatoes so for my sauces I usually have to do some chunks for me (that he can pick out) and some blended for him. Have a great weekend : )

    • Reply
      Robyn
      January 11, 2014 at 4:22 pm

      Me too, Mindy! I think I could eat spaghetti 3 times a week, lol. You could make this recipe and take your serving out and then put the rest in the blender for hubby. I love this because it satisfies my spaghetti craving without taking an afternoon to make the sauce.

  • Reply
    Kristy @ Twist & Sprinkle
    January 11, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    This looks delicious! I am going to have to try this, thanks for sharing and linking up at this week’s Friday Pin Fest!

    • Reply
      Robyn
      January 12, 2014 at 7:07 am

      Thanks, Kristy, and thanks for your visit.

  • Reply
    Jodee Weiland
    January 11, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    Great recipe! Looks delicious and healthy, and the sauce looks so fresh and tasty. I love a good pasta sauce any time.

    • Reply
      Robyn
      January 12, 2014 at 7:12 am

      Thanks, Jodee, and thanks for stopping by. I was so glad to find your lovely blog!

  • Reply
    DeDivahDeals
    January 11, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    Oh this is definitely a must-be-made meal! Thanks for stopping and sharing at #WWDParty, have a great weekend.

    • Reply
      Robyn
      January 12, 2014 at 7:12 am

      My pleasure. Thanks for visiting.

  • Reply
    Kristin @ Dizzy Busy and Hungry!
    January 12, 2014 at 8:18 am

    Love this recipe! I have never made my own marinara but I think I am going to try this. Pinning! Also following you on all social media. Have a great day! 🙂

    • Reply
      Robyn
      January 12, 2014 at 9:59 am

      Thanks, Kristin. I love it because you can change it up every time. Thanks for popping in.

  • Reply
    lydiaf1963
    January 12, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    Love this quick sauce! Thanks for linking up to Real Food Fridays 🙂

    • Reply
      Robyn
      January 13, 2014 at 8:27 am

      Thanks, Lydia. See you next week.

  • Reply
    Sarah MSM
    January 13, 2014 at 9:33 am

    This looks so yummy! I love that it’s not your typical thin marinara sauce!

    Thanks for linking up with us at our Weekend Wind-Down Party!

    • Reply
      Robyn
      January 14, 2014 at 6:00 am

      Thanks, Sarah. I don’t like think sauces either. I need some oomph! 🙂

  • Reply
    Nina
    January 13, 2014 at 11:16 am

    I love a good marinara, dear Robyn. It makes all the difference and this one is really very easy to preapare!
    Beijinhos, querida!

    • Reply
      Robyn
      January 14, 2014 at 6:01 am

      If I can make dinner in under 30 minutes, I am always happy, Nina, lol. Have a great day.

  • Reply
    Linda
    January 13, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    Puuurfect Robyn. You always come up with the best recipe. Easy is good! Miss you my sweet friend. Can’t wait to chat. love, Linda

    • Reply
      Robyn
      January 14, 2014 at 6:02 am

      Awwhh, thanks, Linda. I miss you too. We will talk before the weekend for sure!

  • Reply
    Balvinder
    January 14, 2014 at 1:07 am

    Just got today a big box of Gluten free spaghetti from Costco and have fresh Italian basil growing on my window sill. This will be the recipe I am making tomorrow.

    • Reply
      Robyn
      January 14, 2014 at 6:03 am

      Let me know what you think, Balvinder. If you want it a little less chunky, you can always toss it in the blender before serving. Have a great day.

  • Reply
    Cheryl
    January 14, 2014 at 8:29 am

    Popping by from Share Your Stuff Tuesdays to tell you how YUMMY this looks! I love that you used green onions instead of regular yellow. Thanks for sharing this awesome recipe! HUGS

    • Reply
      Robyn
      January 16, 2014 at 8:49 am

      Happy to share, Cheryl. Thanks for stopping by. I’m a big fan of green onions – they have that extra taste of freshness, don’t you think?

  • Reply
    Becca
    January 15, 2014 at 9:31 am

    I want to try homemade marinara sometime. Thanks for sharing this post at the Healthy Tuesday Hop!

    • Reply
      Robyn
      January 16, 2014 at 8:50 am

      You can do it with your eyes closed, Becca, lol. Always a pleasure to join you. Thanks for your visit.

  • Reply
    Adelina Priddis
    January 16, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    This looks so delicious! I love making my own marinara sauce for pasta. Thanks for sharing it on Foodie Friday

  • Reply
    Real Food Fridays #21 :: Lydia's Flexitarian Kitchen
    January 16, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    […] week we had a number of excellent entries to the link up.  The one that caught my eye was the 20 minute marinara sauce from Simply Fresh Dinners.  Knowing how to make a sauce like this is a great addition to your skill set.  It’s so […]

  • Reply
    Joyce @ It's Your Life
    January 16, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    Looks delicious, pinned to my DIY board, and shared on g+. Thanks for sharing on Real Food Fridays, join us again tonight.

    • Reply
      Robyn
      January 27, 2014 at 8:03 am

      Thanks so much, Joyce

  • Reply
    dadriscoll
    January 17, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    Yum! Italian is my fav. This looks so yummy! Thanks for sharing at Silver Pennies Sundays. x

    • Reply
      Robyn
      January 18, 2014 at 9:15 am

      My pleasure, Danielle, and thanks! See you tomorrow.

  • Reply
    Main Dish Ideas & Recipes
    January 19, 2014 at 4:31 am

    […] 20-Minute Marinara from Simply Fresh Dinners […]

  • Reply
    Miz Helen
    January 19, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    Your 20 Minute Marinara Sauce looks awesome! Thank you so much for helping us celebrate Three Years at Full Plate Thursday. Have a great week and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

    • Reply
      Robyn
      January 20, 2014 at 6:56 am

      Hope you had a great weekend, Miz Helen. See you this week.

  • Reply
    vintagezest
    January 21, 2014 at 12:03 am

    This looks awesome, I definitely want to make this ASAP! Thanks for sharing at Do Tell Tuesday, and I hope you have a chance to link up again this week! http://www.vintagezest.com/2014/01/do-tell-tuesday-7-with-features-co-host.html

    Diane @ Vintage Zest

    • Reply
      Robyn
      January 21, 2014 at 6:11 pm

      Thanks, Diane. I’ll be there with bells on 🙂

  • Reply
    Allie
    January 22, 2014 at 10:08 am

    Looks Delicious! Will you share this today on Worthwhile Wednesdays? http://thecraftiestallie.blogspot.com/2014/01/1-worthwhile-wednesdays-link-party.html
    Thanks,
    Allie

  • Reply
    DeDivahDeals
    January 26, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    Such a beautiful dish, I think I might try it!!!

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