While I do sometimes rely on good quality store bought marinara, when I find the time, I try and make them at home. Home cooked just turns out to be immeasurably better than any store bought brand. And then I always wonder why don’t I make it at home all the time!
There are several variations to what goes on top of spaghetti, but this is a recipe for a classic and simple marinara which is easy to put together.
With a few steps, and a few key ingredients, this is a no fuss recipe. No all day simmering is needed, and certainly none of that extra sugar that comes with jarred sauces.
Ingredients for Marinara Sauce:
makes ~4 cups
1 28oz can whole San Marzano tomatoes
8 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced thin
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp coarse kosher salt
Into a large mixing bowl, pour the entire can of san marzano tomatoes. Use your hands to crush the tomatoes them into small chunks. Add 1/2 cup of water into the tomato can and pick up all the remaining tomato juices, and set aside this water.
In a wide bottomed skillet, heat extra virgin olive oil over medium heat for 10 seconds. Then add sliced garlic. As soon as garlic starts sizzling, about 15 seconds, add the crushed tomatoes and mix well.
Add dried basil, and reserved tomato water. Bring to a boil first, and lower the heat. Simmer for 20 minutes over low heat.
Add oregano, and measured salt. Stir well together, and let simmer for an additional 15 minutes.
This is ready to serve as is over your favorite pasta with some fresh basil over the top! Or you could also add in any veggies of your choice. The options are endless.
For today’s spaghetti dish, I used my homemade marinara and then added some warm spices and generously sprinkled vegan parmesan. (I use ‘follow your heart’ brand; not an ad, just a fan!)
You could of course make it vegetarian with regular cheese, vegetarian parmesan of course.
Ingredients for the whole dish:
1 lb spaghetti
~4 cups marinara sauce (homemade recipe above)
1 cup reserved pasta cooking water
1 cup vegan parmesan
1/2 tsp coarse kosher salt
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp red chilli flakes
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil over high heat. Add a handful of salt. Drop in pasta, and cook pasta per package instructions, minus 2 minutes. My vegan spaghetti called for 8 minutes; so I took them off heat at 6 minutes, drained and set aside. Reserve some of the pasta cooking water before draining.
In a large pot, add 3 cups of homemade marinara, and 1 cup of the reserved pasta water. Add 1/2 tsp salt, mix well together and bring to a boil over medium heat.
Add coriander powder, garam masala powder and red chilli flakes. Toss together, and continue simmering for another 10 minutes.
Gently add the cooked spaghetti in, toss well together until the pasta is coated well with sauce. The pasta cooks more in the sauce at this stage, and will end up being perfectly al dente when served.
Add a couple of handfuls of vegan parmesan cheese, and mix well.
Pile high on a plate, serve hot, and enjoy!
Sprinkle more parmesan on top, of course!