This is a basic, tasty marinara. This can be served over any pasta. Feel free to add more spices at the end such as oregano, garlic powder, dried basil, etc. to suit your taste. This is a recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis.

Simple Marinara

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 (32 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes*
4-6 basil leaves
2 dried bay leaves
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (optional)

In a large casserole pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add celery and carrots and season with salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.

Add tomatoes, basil, and bay leaves and simmer covered on low heat for 1 hour or until thick. Remove bay leaves and check for seasoning. If sauce still tastes acidic, add unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon at a time to round out the flavors. Add half the tomato sauce into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Continue with remaining tomato sauce. If not using all the sauce, allow it to cool completely and pour 1 to 2 cup portions into freezer plastic bags. This will freeze up to 6 months. Yields 6 cups or 12 servings.

*Note: Can be made with fresh Roma tomatoes. Simply rough chop and blend before cooking.

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