One of my top choices for dinner at Italian restaurants (besides pizza) is spaghetti with marinara sauce. The most basic dish on the menu, but somehow it tastes better than spaghetti and sauce at home. Maybe because I don’t have to do the dishes? Or more likely because it is made with an old family recipe and quality ingredients.
My family isn’t Italian, so we don’t have a special sauce recipe that has been passed down through the generations. My mom did have an Italian friend who made the best sauce though and she let us in on a secret – San Marzano tomatoes. We found San Marzano tomatoes at Whole Foods in the canned section and followed the recipe on the can which is really easy. We made a few changes and now this is our favorite sauce to have at home.
Of course the tomatoes are rarely on sale unlike jars of tomato sauce, but it’s worth the extra cost for a special treat once in a while. I also splurge on fresh pasta (by splurge I mean wait until Publix has buy one get one free) to go with the sauce. Fresh mozzarella or freshly grated parmesan is perfect for topping. Here we added some olives from the farmers market as well.
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 crushed garlic
- 1 28 ounce can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
- 5-6 large leaves basil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Heat oil and garlic in medium sauce pan over medium heat until garlic begins to brown.
- Add tomatoes, including liquid.
- Reduce heat to low and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Roughly chop basil.
- Stir in basil and salt.
- Serve over warm pasta.
Makes approximately 3 cups of sauce.
Have you tried making sauce at home? Or making your own pasta?