Think beyond spaghetti with this weeknight-easy fresh marinara. The sauce (and its variations) is delicious served over ravioli or polenta or spooned on bread and baked with cheese for a pizzalike appetizer.

Source: Midwest Living


Recipe Summary

30 mins
50 mins
3 cups sauce


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring occasionally.

Instructions Checklist
  • Stir in tomatoes, wine, vinegar, salt and pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Stir in basil.


If nice fresh roma tomatoes are not available, substitute two 28-ounce cans whole peeled roma tomatoes, drained and chopped (should be about 3 cups). Reduce the salt to 1/4 teaspoon.


To peel and seed tomatoes: Cut a shallow X on the base of each tomato. Using a slotted spoon, dip tomatoes into boiling water for 15 seconds, then transfer to cold water. When cooled slightly, use a paring knife to gently pull off the skin. To remove the seeds, cut the tomato in half and scoop or squeeze out the seeds.

Ratatouille-Style Tomato Sauce

In Step 1, cook 2 cups chopped eggplant and 1/2 cup chopped yellow sweet pepper with the onion and garlic until tender. In Step 2, add 1 1/2 cups chopped zucchini with the tomatoes. Increase the balsamic vinegar to 1 tablespoon and the salt to 3/4 teaspoon.Nutrition analysis per serving: 87 calories, 2 g protein, 11 g carbohydrate, 3 g total fat (0 g sat. fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 7 g total sugar, 38 Vitamin A, 74% Vitamin C, 303 mg sodium, 4% calcium, 5% iron

Savory Green Bean

In Step 2, add 3 cups chopped fresh green beans and 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary with the tomatoes. Simmer until green beans are desired tenderness. Omit basil.Nutrition analysis per serving: 86 calories, 2 g protein, 11 g carbohydrate, 3 g total fat (0 g sat. fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 6 g total sugar, 31% Vitamin A, 45%Vitamin C, 206 mg sodium, 4% calcium, 6% iron

Creamy Marinara:

Prepare as directed, except in Step 2, stir in 3/4 cup whipping cream with the basil.Nutrition analysis per serving: 173 calories, 2 g protein, 8 g carbohydrate, 14 g total fat (7 g sat. fat), 41 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 5 g total sugar, 34% Vitamin A, 35% Vitamin C, 214 mg sodium, 5% calcium, 4% iron

Sausage and Mushroom Tomato Sauce

In Step 1, add 1/2 pound Italian sausage (remove casings if present) and 1 cup sliced mushrooms with the onion and garlic. Cook until sausage is browned and onions are tender. At the end, if desired, stir in 1/4 cup sliced pimiento-stuffed green olives. Nutrition analysis per serving: 212 calories, 8 g protein, 9 g carbohydrate, 15 g total fat (5 g sat. fat), 29 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 4 g total sugar, 27% Vitamin A, 36% Vitamin C, 575 mg sodium, 4% calcium, 7% iron

Nutrition Facts

69 calories; total fat 3g; saturated fatg; polyunsaturated fatg; monounsaturated fat 2g; cholesterolmg; sodium 202mg; potassium 385mg; carbohydrates 8g; fiber 2g; sugar 4g; protein 2g; trans fatty acidg; vitamin a 1334IU; vitamin c 21mg; thiaminmg; riboflavinmg; niacin equivalents 1mg; vitamin b6mg; folate 25mcg; vitamin b12mcg; calcium 28mg; iron 1mg.