Is everyone still in New Year’s – New You mode? I love this time of year. I love feeling motivated and renewed. It’s kind of like when school starts in August, you’re so excited and pumped and then the daily dose of it drags you down until about October, where you start counting the days until summer. Right now I am listening to The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing – and it is really motivating me. I’ll post a review when I am finished, I’ll also post a before and after pic of my closet that I worked on yesterday. Then today, two big boxes of books made it out of the house and on their way to Goodwill. I already feel lighter. I’m not going to tell you how many times yesterday that I went back to the closet to just open it and gaze at it in all it’s empty-ish loveliness.
Today’s marinara sauce is perfect for the new year. Oh, I know it it’s pasta and carbs and all that. But it’s light, or at least in my book it’s light. I love a bolognese as much as the next girl, but sometimes I just want tomatoes. Nothing hampering all their tomatoey goodness. This is so simple. It doesn’t need to be anything more than it is.
When you have such few ingredients, it pays to make them be the best that you can. I always start with organic whole tomatoes. I know some people use crushed or diced, but I have it in my head that whole tomatoes are better – that they use less than perfect tomatoes for diced and canned. Then there is this pasta, I love, love, love the fancy food aisle at Marshall’s and Homegoods. It was the perfect backdrop for my marinara sauce.
The beauty of this recipe is because it is so simple, with no additions, you can make plenty of it! My recipe which fits in my 6 quart slow cooker makes enough for 4 dinners!! After it cooled, I spooned 4 cups of marinara into ziploc bags and laid them flat, freezing them (I was able to get 3 bags – the third bag was slightly shy of 4 cups). Since I am freezing this sauce to use later and because I love it’s simplicity, I don’t even had any herbs like oregano or basil to mine, just a couple of bay leaves. Tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, onion, bay leaves, sugar, salt and pepper – that’s all it needs. Really. The only thing I do to boost the flavor a bit is that I do saute the onions and garlic in a little olive oil first.
Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 onions chopped
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 12 oz tomato paste
- 112 oz whole tomatoes 4 28-oz cans, undrained
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1-2 teaspoons kosher salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- Parmesan cheese for serving
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add onions and garlic and saute until garlic is fragrant and onions are softened.
- Add tomato paste, tomatoes, bay leaves, sugar, salt and black pepper to slow cooker. Top with onion garlic mixture. Stir to combine.
- Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
- Makes enough to sauce 4 pounds of pasta!