It has taken me a lot longer than I had planned but I finally have my Slow Cooked Marinara Sauce recipe ready for posting! I hope that everyone finds it was worth the wait. This is one of my favourite recipes and one that I’ve been perfecting for many years. Slow Cooked Marinara Sauce is such a versatile dish. You can use it as a base for a rich meat sauce for spaghetti or lasagna. The picture posted here is showcasing the sauce with my Bocconcini-Stuffed Meatballs http://www.funeasyamazingrecipes.com/bocconcini-stuffed-meatballs. You can check out the recipe at the link provided. At a later date, I will be posting my legendary lasagna! You won’t want to miss that post!
Slow Cooked Marinara Sauce is the result of a lot of trial and some error as well, to come up with the perfect consistency and flavour. I am a big fan of garlic and fresh herbs for this recipe. Up until recently, I was also a big fan of flavoured canned tomatoes but I have since been enlightened to the amazing flavour of San Marzano canned tomatoes. They are a lot more expensive than the flavoured canned tomatoes but man, do they make my Slow Cooked Marinara Sauce fantastic! I am really sold on these! However, in saying that, I know that I’ve had a hard time finding them so if that is a problem you also encounter, the flavoured Italian – Style canned tomatoes really work well too. The spices in the canned tomatoes add a nice extra kick of flavour. Extra flavour is never a bad thing that is for sure!
One of the things I’ve learned over the years of making this recipe is to definitely, if you have time, use the slow cooker to make this. What I find happens when the marinara sauce is allowed the time to cook for hours in the slow cooker is that it really deepens the flavour far more than if you make it on the stove top. It is also possible to slow cook the marinara sauce on the stove but that requires a very watchful eye and a lot more stirring than you would have to do in the slow cooker. The slow cooker is low maintenance – you can turn it on and forget about it! In a few hours you will have the most amazing sauce with such rich tomato flavour.
The last few times that I’ve made this recipe for Slow Cooked Marinara Sauce, I modified it slightly by adding some grape tomatoes I had that were running out of time before they would end up in the garbage. I really hate wasting food, so I thought I would chop them up and add them in to the sauce. This was a great idea, even if I do say so myself!! Once the sauce was fully cooked, I used an immersion blender to smooth it out a little more. I didn’t get rid of all of the lumps, only a few. This is not a necessary requirement of this recipe but what I like about doing this is that it thickens the sauce even further and breaks up the grape tomatoes at the same time. I just thought I would pass this on to you in case you would like to try it as well.
Slow Cooked Marinara Sauce is all about personal preference. I’ve given you a recipe that has a really good base to it. You can’t go wrong with this recipe, honestly! However, if you find that you are a total garlic lover and want to add more, by all means add more! Some people prefer a little kick to their sauce. You can add some chili flakes to spice it up a bit. For those of you who prefer not to cook with wine, you can either substitute a non-alcoholic version or use water with about 2 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar added to it. Instead of adding water, try adding 1 cup of milk instead….it makes it creamy and so good as well! It is just so versatile! Finally, there are more uses for it than just spaghetti and lasagna. I use it for my chicken parmigiana and manicotti recipes as well. Stay tuned for those ones coming soon.
So there you have it, folks. I hope that you enjoy making this recipe and savouring it’s amazing flavour as much as I have!
- 1 Cup Onion, finely chopped
- 4 Cloves Garlic, minced Could use more or less depending on how much you love garlic!
- 3 Tsp Olive Oil
- 1 1/2 Cups Fresh Mushrooms, sliced optional
- 1 Cup Red Wine
- 1 32 Ounce Can Diced Tomatoes I am all for "flavoured" canned tomatoes. They add extra flavour to your sauce which is not a bad thing!
- 1 32 Ounce Can Crushed Tomatoes
- 1 7 Ounce Can Tomato Paste Flavoured would be good here as well
- 1 Tbsp Dried Oregano
- 1 Tbsp Dried Basil
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 1 Tsp Pepper
In a medium skillet, add the olive oil and once heated, add the diced onion and mushrooms if using. Sauté for about 3 - 5 min or until softened. Add in the minced garlic and continue to sauté for another minute or so. Transfer the mix to the slow cooker. Add the rest of the ingredients to the slow cooker and stir to mix thoroughly. If you would rather use fresh herbs than dried, it works very well but I would leave the herb addition until you are almost done cooking. I would add them in about 1/2 an hour before slow cooking is done. How much and what type of fresh herbs you would like to use is entirely up to you. I like to use a mix of fresh basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary and parsley. Due to the great climate in Vancouver where I live, I am able to grow these herbs in my garden, usually all year long. I love the added depth they offer to the sauce. I will say, though, that for my taste, the fresh herbs are not enough seasoning for this recipe so I chose to also add dried Italian Seasoning to taste as well. I will usually add as much as I think tastes great! You are welcome to do the same. I will add some initially and then wait until the sauce has cooked for a few hours before tasting it to see if it needs anymore seasoning added.
If you would like to change things up a little, you could add 1 lb of hamburger to the marinara sauce and have a really nice meat sauce that would be great for lasagna or just with spaghetti! You would brown the hamburger first until cooked and then add the slow cooked marinara sauce. Cook for about 1/2 an hour and it’s ready to serve!