For the longest time I could not bring myself to eat pasta with sauce on it. Chalk it up to getting the flu after eating spaghetti for dinner. Instead, I requested my spaghetti be served with Italian Salad Dressing.
Years went by until I worked up the nerve to start eating pasta with a little bit of sauce, but it wasn’t until I went to Venice, Italy as a senior in high school that I finally understood why people love pasta.
I started making my own sauce a few years ago when I switched to eating vegan and also cutting back on oils (most store bought sauces contain oil and many also contain sugar). The inspiration for this recipe comes from the Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease book which also inspired my change in diet.
Since we are a family of six and this sauce freezes well, I make a large quantity. That way, I only need to prepare this about once a month. It makes enough to fill about five large mason jars plus a few smaller jars for pizza sauce.
When I don’t have tomatoes on hand from my garden, my favorite brand of canned tomatoes are Muir Glen’s organic diced or whole tomatoes because 1. they’re organic and 2. Muir Glen took the BPA out of their can lining. Thankfully, I can buy these in bulk at BJs to save money.
oil & sugar free marinara sauce for pasta or pizza
Prep Time: 10-20 minutes
Cook Time: at least 30 minutes
- 2 medium-small onions, diced
- 15-20 medium-large garlic cloves, minced
- 5 28-oz. canned tomatoes
- ½ c. fresh basil
- 3 tsp. dried oregano
- 2 tsp. salt
- Dashes freshly ground black pepper
- 1-2 6-oz cans tomato paste (optional)
In a large stock pot, sauté onions and garlic with a little water to prevent the vegetables from sticking.
Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor, blend tomatoes in batches to desired sauce consistency.
Add blended tomatoes to stock pot along with other ingredients except the tomato paste.
Simmer at least 30 minutes or longer to let flavors develop.
For pizza sauce, set aside several cups of the pasta sauce and stir in tomato paste until thoroughly combined. Doing so in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat helps with this process.
I use Muir Glen’s organic whole or diced tomatoes and blend them to a fairly smooth consistency.
Garlic is the key to a tasty sauce, but if you’re not a big fan of garlic, start with a slightly smaller quantity.
This recipe makes a lot and it freezes well. One batch usually yields enough sauce for 3-4 pasta meals plus 3-4 pizzas.