#Recipe: Easy Spicy Marinara

by Melissa on August 7, 2013

There is one night in this house on which I never receive a complaint: spaghetti night. H never complains, and that’s really what matters most, because let’s face it: kids don’t always get flavor, right? In our house, one loves broccoli, one hates it. One loves tomatoes, one hates them. One loves onions (EW!) and one loves them. Spaghetti night is different.

Normally, I will mix up a meaty sauce with ground chicken, tomato sauce, chopped pepperoni, and sometimes a little bit of turkey sausage. I’ll toss in my own blend of seasonings, which always changes, throw over some whole wheat organic pasta, and voila! No complaints.

I’ve been dying to try my hand at a fresher approach to my sauce, though, and when my mother-in-law presented me with a basket full of tomatoes that I’d never be able to finish on my own – I could eat them like apples – I made a promise to experiment.

I’m so glad I did.


Both girls took a taste…and both girls grabbed spoons out of the drawer and snuck spoonfuls when they thought I wasn’t looking. (Yes. Moms do have eyes in the backs of their heads. ;) )

Success.

The real test was H. He’s not a tomato guy, and this marinara is chunkier than the smooth, canned tomato sauce he’s used to me using to make my sauces. True story: he had turned away a bowl of chili that he usually eats 3-4 bowls of when he figured out I added a small can of diced (and additionally mashed) tomatoes. Instead of hauling ass away from the stove, his eyes lit up and I got the “now that’s good”. And for the record, he made his profile picture on Facebook is a photo of my sauce.

SCORE!!!

To get the thumbs up from all three picky eaters means you all get a recipe. ;) Hope you enjoy.

Easy Spicy Marinara

Easy Spicy Marinara

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs. fresh tomatoes, stems removed and cored (choose your favorite for the flavor you want)
  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • 2 tbs. minced garlic
  • 2 tsp. garlic salt (or more depending on your taste)
  • 1.5 tbs. red pepper flakes
  • 2-3 tbs. Italian seasoning blend (rosemary, parsley, basil, oregano - whatever you prefer)

Instructions

  1. In a food processor, chop one pound of tomatoes into small chunks.
  2. Pour the chunked tomatoes into a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and minced garlic and sauté.
  3. While the chunked tomatoes sauté, puree all remaining tomatoes in a food processor until smooth and add to the saucepan.
  4. Mix in red pepper, garlic salt, and Italian seasoning blend and allow the sauce to simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Serve over pasta or breaded chicken.
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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Carrie @ FamilyFitnessFood.com August 7, 2013 at 12:22 am

I totally get the picky eater problem. Sigh. Breakfast for dinner is the only thing that pleases everyone around here. This recipe looks amazing.
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Melissa August 7, 2013 at 12:32 am

See, and breakfast for dinner needs to be negotiated in this house! It’s always eggs versus waffle/French toast/pancakes. lol

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Debbie @ Live from La Quinta August 7, 2013 at 12:29 am

Yum, that sounds really good and easy, which is my favorite kind of recipe!
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GiGi Eats Celebrities August 7, 2013 at 12:38 am

OMG so delicious and SO VERY RED! I love it :) I would pour that ALL OVER spaghetti squash, or just straight into my mouth!
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Melissa August 7, 2013 at 12:43 am

I may have sipped a bit from the pot. lol I bet I could get the kids to eat spaghetti squash using this sauce! I’ll have to report back on that. ;)

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Christine @ Love, Life, Surf August 7, 2013 at 1:23 am

I kept seeing your IG photos and drooling. This looks delicious!!
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Melissa August 7, 2013 at 9:38 am

I need to start using IG more. lol Thanks friend!!

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Angela @ Happy Fit Mama August 7, 2013 at 6:08 am

Fresh pasta sauce is 10000 x better than store bought. Can’t wait to try your recipe!
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Melissa August 7, 2013 at 9:40 am

I haven’t used a jarred pasta sauce in…I can’t even tell you how long. At least 9.5 years. I’ve always used canned tomato sauce (the plain tomato, no added anything) as a base, seasoned it myself, and added whatever I wanted to it. Never used fresh tomatoes, because the husband hates them! Now I’ve reeled him in…;)

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Linz @ Itz Linz August 7, 2013 at 6:31 am

YUM! homemade anything is the best and spicy marinara is definitely a winner! we’ve got a tomato garden so this sounds perfect!
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Melissa August 7, 2013 at 9:41 am

I wish I had started a garden here at this house this year. It was our first growing season here, and we never did it. Took care of all other projects, haha, but not this one. We have plans to make a pretty large one this coming year. Lots of marinara to be made. ;)

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MIZ August 7, 2013 at 7:22 am

(((RUNS TO CHECK TO BE SURE SHE FOLLOWS YOU ON IG!)))
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Melissa August 7, 2013 at 9:41 am

Tee hee. I’ll be using it more to lure y’all in. ;)

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Kierston @candyfit August 7, 2013 at 7:50 am

When’s dinner?
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Melissa August 7, 2013 at 9:46 am

Anytime you’re in town. :D

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Liz @ The Girl on Fire Now August 7, 2013 at 7:53 am

I wish could get my brother to try stuff like that! He is such a picky eater and won’t eat any vegetable at all. No exaggeration.
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Melissa August 7, 2013 at 10:09 am

My husband used to be the same way!! I think that after a while he started trusting that I can make things taste good to him. (He’s a gravy and meat guy…typical Southern man.) Then, when he trusted that, I started working in the veggies. So far, the only thing I can’t get him to eat is onions and whole tomatoes. Keep trying! :D

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Maureen August 7, 2013 at 8:13 am

Yum! There is seriously nothing better than a fresh tomato sauce!
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Melissa August 7, 2013 at 10:10 am

Amen to that. :)

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Kristen @ Medium Roast August 7, 2013 at 11:35 am

That looks delicious! It’s been a while since I’ve had a spaghetti night. Might have to make this tonight!
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Laura @ Mommy Run Fast August 7, 2013 at 12:58 pm

That looks fantastic! I’ve been looking for a good homemade pasta sauce… yum!
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Davida @ The Healthy Maven August 7, 2013 at 4:23 pm

This is great! I am low on food in the house but definitely have pasta and tomatoes. This sauce must happen then :) Pinning!
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Jenny @ simply be me August 7, 2013 at 5:56 pm

Yum! We have one who will only eat green sauce (pesto) but I keep trying him with red sauce every now and then :)
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lindsay August 11, 2013 at 7:44 am

i’m pretty sure i saw this on IG and thought.. I could just spoon this, no noodles included. LOL!
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Melissa August 14, 2013 at 11:20 am

I won’t lie. I sipped it. LOL

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Emma @ Life's A Runner August 11, 2013 at 12:43 pm

Okay, so I need that in my life, STAT. And coming from the person who has always hated pasta, that is seriously saying something!
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Melissa August 14, 2013 at 11:11 am

I didn’t throw it over pasta the first time…I threw it over baked chicken! Go for it! :D PS: Let me know if you try it! I’d love to know what you think!

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