Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Light and Healthy Vegetarian Marinara Sauce

This is a staple at our house. Whenever we need to throw together a quick meal, we often use the sauce to make the meal come together. We use to make a quick chicken marinara pasta or chicken parmesan. River recently used it to make a Shrimp fra Diavlo, you can also serve it as a dipping sauce for polenta.

I put extra veggies to make it even tastier as well as healthy too. This sauce is rich in vitamins and antioxidants, not to mention a healthy dose of vegetable fiber.

I make a "vat" of this sauce but it just doesn't seem to last too long. You can freeze this sauce for up to six months. I recommend you freeze it in 1-2 cup portions so that you can use as little as you want, it thaws quicker too.


  • 1/4 cup of chopped herbs (parsley, basil, oregano). The mix just depends on what you might have or your personal taste.
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot or 2 small carrots coarsely chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery coarsley chopped
  • 3 cans(28 oz. each) of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp of minced garlic
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp of dried oregano
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 cup of white zinfandel wine
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • pinch of sugar


  1. Using a food processor, finely grind the carrots and celery.
  2. Coat the bottom of a large sauce pan with olive oil With the heat on medium, heat oil until it starts to shimmer, add the onions and cook until lightly brown and wilted.
  3. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
  4. Add the carrots and celery and cook for a few minutes.
  5. Add the 2/3 of the herb mixture, the dried oregano, and bay leaves. Mix them in and cook for a few minutes.
  6. Add the wine which will quickly evaporate. Turn the heat down to low.
  7. Add a can of the tomatoes one at a time. Use a spatula or potato masher to break up the tomotoes slightly.
  8. Add the salt and let the sauce simmer on low. Do not allow the sauce to boil.
  9. The sauce tastes best when left to simmer for a few hours. Stir periodically.
  10. Towards the end of the cooking, add the remainder of the herbs and continue to simmer.
  11. This is optional, but if you want a more smooth sauce, use a hand blender and puree until smooth.

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