Call it what you want…

I love it!  No matter what you call it.  Sauce or gravy?  In my family we call red sauce, sauce.  We call brown sauce that goes over meat, gravy.  If I cook meat in the sauce all day and it’s really thick I consider it more like a gravy.

But no matter what, if you are cooking it, I’m happy.  And making it is so simple and healthy depending on what you pair it with.  This recipe is for a simple marinara sauce.  Sometimes I add onion, red wine, meat, roasted eggplant, etc…

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Marinara Sauce


  • EVOO
  • garlic (12 cloves chopped)
  • a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 cans of whole peeled tomatoes(Tuttorroso is great because the cans say non-BPA and non-GMO.  Most of the time I’ll try and get San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes or I’ll even use cans of crushed tomatoes and keep it simple!)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of crushed black pepper
  • 3 heaping spoonfuls of cheese
  • A handful of fresh chopped Italian parsley(or basil or both!)


  • In a large sauce pan saute garlic and crushed red pepper flakes in EVOO.  (You can add onion if you want.  That’s the great part about sauce.  It tastes delicious many ways. This is when everyone comes in the kitchen to see what I’m making.  Smells so good.)
  • Add 3 cans of whole peeled tomatoes.  Blend with an immersion blender (one of the greatest inventions ever!) to chop all the tomatoes. Keep it on a simmer so it doesn’t burn.
  • Add about the crushed black pepper.  (My mom adds salt, but uses less cheese.  I don’t add salt, but put in extra cheese!)
  • Stir in the grated cheese.  (My mom buys nothing other than Pecorino Romano.  I sway from that.  Sometimes I buy the blend or sometimes just Parmesan.  Always from the refrigerated section!!  That’s a must.  I don’t even think the cheese in the un-refrigerated section is even cheese.  A big thing to look out for is any grated or crumbled cheese with cellulose aka wood pulp in it.  Sometimes it’s hard to find cheese without it.  I don’t know much about cellulose, but I don’t want my family to eat it.  That’s for sure… Today they didn’t have grated cheese without cellulose, so I bought the block of cheese and grated it myself.)
  • Add the parsley/basil.

That is it!  Simmer for about 20 minutes.  Pair with your favorite pasta.  Tonight I added turkey meatballs to the sauce and served with whole grain linguine.  My picky eater Matthew likes healthier foods and this is his favorite meal!  I prefer regular meatballs, but I will get into that discussion another day.  Enjoy!

Other recipes you will love…

Meat Sauce

Ravioli with Crushed Tomato Sauce

Momma’s Meatballs


Published by

I'm a stay at home mom and my life revolves around feeding my family of four. I love to cook for my husband Matt and two boys(Matthew-11 and Dominick-9). I'm not good at entertaining big crowds. That makes me nervous! I TRY and cook healthy meals, and I TRY to buy organic. Matt likes almost everything except for olives, mustard and fancy cheeses-everything I love)! So I try to find recipes without those ingredients or sneak them into the food I make and then he picks them out... And when he likes something, he has no control. Can't stop. Won't stop! But he really tries to make good choices in what he eats. In the last five years or so we both have made changes for the better in our diet. Matthew eats very little and is very picky. It's hard to watch him eat cause he's always picking! My mom get's so annoyed watching him eat! I was the same damn way as a kid. I tortured my parents by becoming a vegetarian for 7 years! I still can't eat all meat. I'm picky. Dominick loves almost everything! And when he loves it, you know it. It's all over him and the floor. Unlike Matthew. Not a single crumb.... I am 100% Italian-I think.. I grew up in Long Island and always ate really great food!!! While the other kids in school were bringing Lunchables or buying lunch, I was eating a chicken cutlet sandwich! My mom is an amazing cook. Much better than me. I have to pull recipes and follow them. She just whips stuff up in minutes and its amazing! And my dad loves all of her food, and all food in general! Except if its too healthy, like salmon.... Most of the time when he's eating his eyes are closed. He says he can taste it better that way... My sisters both live in Long Island and our conversations usually consist of food, fashion, beauty or kids. Ali is similar to my mom. She whips up delicious meals. And they are usually healthy and light. She says she doesn't eat carbs, which is a lie. Every weekend shes at the pork store picking up twisted Italian bread, sausages, and ravioli. Her eyes light up when her 2 year old Joseph eats. Her goal in life is to feed him. And she hates casseroles. Refuses to make them. Lol Jen is very busy as a dance mom with her two girls. But when she gets in the kitchen, watch out! She cooks up a storm. Her salads are the BEST ever! Usually, it's accompanied with steak and rice or fried chicken cutlets! And there are leftovers for the whole week. The goal of my blog is to share some of my family's favorite foods. I'll let you know what works out well and not so well for me when it comes to feeding the fam!

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