The vegetable garden we started is beginning to put out lots of veggies. While I love to give out fresh vegetables to friends during the summer, I like to keep some for myself to make this rich and oh-so-delicious marinara sauce. Made from fresh-grown garden favorites like tomatoes, onions, peppers, and garlic, this versatile sauce is a family favorite.
7 Delicious Ways to Use Up Your Marinara
The great thing about marinara sauce is that it’s so darn versatile! If the following ideas don’t work for you, freeze it and use it another time. We use these freezer-friendly storage containers for our soups and broths.
- use with your favorite pasta
- layered between lasagna
- with meatballs
- on top of chicken or eggplant parmesan
- served as a dipping sauce for garlic knots or pizza rolls
- as a soup base
Chunky or Smooth Sauce?
We all have our preferences, so I leave it up to you. If you don’t like a chunky sauce, use a hand blender to puree the sauce. You can also transfer the sauce to a blender if you don’t have a hand blender. Just be careful if the sauce is hot.
While slow cooking on the stove is always an option, I prefer to use my crock pot. While the sauce is simmering away in the crockpot, this frees up time for me and doesn’t heat my kitchen up in the summer. The crockpot will slow cook and create a thick and hearty sauce to enjoy.
Garden-Fresh Marinara Sauce Recipe
- 10-12 organic garden-ripe tomatoes
- 1/2 cup fresh sweet basil, loosely packed
- 1 tablespoon dried garden oregano
- 1 grown chili pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 6 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup red wine
- 3 onions, chopped and diced
- 2 bay leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- dash of crushed red peppers, optional
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Take a knife and cut a small “x” into the tops (not too deep, just below the skin). Place tomatoes in a metal colander and lower it into the simmering water for 1-2 minutes. Remove as soon as skins begin to split. When tomatoes are cool enough to handle, remove skins by gently peeling them off. (They should remove easily, but if they do not, re-emerge into hot water for another minute)
- Run peeled tomatoes through a food mill, or if you do not have access to one, quarter the tomatoes and remove the seeds.
- In a crock pot, add all ingredients and stir together. Salt and pepper to taste and add bay leaves. Heat on low for 8 hours.
- Spice the recipe up by adding a dash of crushed red peppers