Easy marinara sauce recipe loaded with red and green peppers, onions, celery and carrots is where its at! The perfect Italian pasta sauce to add to pizza, zoodles, pasta noodles or for dipping when looking to get more vegetables in your diet!
Let me start saying with this easy marinara sauce is AMAZING on our homemade gluten free pizza! We make this every Friday night and it is so simple to create.
But first -before we get into the recipe- I have a few thoughts I want to share with you…
As I was driving down the street this morning I noticed a man walking by eating a taquito from 7-11. He took a bite and as he passed another gentleman -who looked homeless- he handed him his box containing the rest of his food.
From my rear view mirror I spotted the homeless man opening up the box and turned back around with pure JOY on his face.
That small gesture of sharing a meal and GIVING of food can bring so much delectation into someones day. Just seeing it reminded me how abundant life is and no matter where your life is at, the little things we do can make all the difference in the world!
January is the start of 365 new days, 365 new chances. I have to admit that 2017 was not my best year. Looking back I was in survival mode.
As I was “surviving” I was overly stressed about everything. In April I started working on my eBooks, which I thought would only take about 2 months. It took 8 over months with 2 young kids at home! Mind you my children are wonderful but they are my first priority before this blog so I mainly could only squeeze in computer time 2-3 hours a day while at the gym or after they went to bed. Mission accomplished, they are available! I SURVIVED.
I was “surviving” my Italian grandmother’s death in July whom I was very close to. I called her the day I was in the hospital after my children were born to tell her the good news! Whenever I needed parenting advice or recipe ideas, she had knowledgeable words to guide me. What a wonderful woman this lady was and inspired so much of this blog, including this easy marinara sauce recipe. Although I added my twist of vegetables since I put veggies in just about EVERYTHING!…wink!
I was “surviving” my daily life just to get through mounds of laundry and dishes to keep those around me taken care of and loved. Personal situations took a turn and any extra energy went there. Through that I left myself on the sidelines of the playing field and felt like I wasn’t able to GIVE or BE as free as I wanted. I forgot MY joy.
Because the joy was missing, I got sick for over a month in November. Then the Thomas fires hit Santa Barbara County and we left our home for 2 weeks, arriving back home just before Christmas.
It turned out to be one of the best times away because we got to spend quality time together with lots of family making fun new memories! But all of November and December felt as if life was handed to me in marbles and I threw it up in the air only to have it rained down however it landed upon us.
I know most of Santa Barbara County has felt that same way from the 2017 natural disasters. My heart melts and cries for the lost lives in the mudslides that happened the past couple of days. Some friends are safe (thank you God!) but lives are shattered, never to be the same.
Community is a wonderful thing and we would not survive without community. It was a great reminder today of community by seeing people helping each other out just by sharing food on the street.
Reflecting on 2017 has been a big reminder that life is not about trying to be everywhere at once. It is not a reminder to do everything you can to be “what is supposed to be” well-rounded. Nor is anything -truly- in our control.
It’s about taking small steps to get to where you want to be. Meaningful steps that are important to YOU. Through that, natural JOY will come through. Sure things with get thrown at you now and again that are out of your control but perhaps it is to guide you on a different path.
Just like the man that shared his food on the street to another, I hope to bring JOY and ease in your life through my easy healthy recipes!
Here is what is ahead in 2018 -it is a BIG new exciting year and a BOLD change! Three things I am embracing with this blog:
- A fresh perspective – new backgrounds and improved photography!
- More creative recipes from my gut and readers needs, not Pinterest.
- Mindfullness. Less worry about “keeping up with survival”.
Something that my late grandmother (nanny) enjoyed which brought JOY to everyone in her life is that every holiday she hosted a BIG Italian 4 course dinner feast! It was our family and cousins, and my dads siblings and their siblings….. and on, and on.
Nanny would make homemade spaghetti, lasagna with sausage – and let’s not forget the Italian wedding soup! Everything was made with love and fresh sauce that simmered for hours. The house always smelled FANTASTIC!
This easy marinara sauce was passed down from her to my mom and now to me. For this recipe I used hers as the foundation and added a few tweaks of my own. Since Italian veggies include red and green bell peppers (and red wine!), I decided they would add a boost of sweetness and chunk to my version! I also added more tomato paste for thickness and a sweeter sauce. Sometimes I add a few more carrots and celery, but feel free to leave them out if you don’t have them on-hand. This marinara sauce will still be fantastic!
How to make homemade pasta sauce with canned tomatoes:
You can use either used stewed or diced tomatoes for your sauce. I prefer diced for a chunkier sauce which my family seems to enjoy in both pasta and on their pizza. Using canned pizza sauce that is very smooth instead of stewed or diced has less taste, texture and flavor overall.
Add all of the ingredients to a sauce pot and let it simmer on high. Once it gets hot, turn it to a low simmer for about 20-30 minutes. The longer it simmers the thicker it will become. If you want it with less chunks, use a meat masher to smash it down. Mashing the sauce can be a fun part for the kids to do!
Marinara sauce ingredients:
- canned stewed or diced tomatoes
- tomato paste
- garlic cloves
- olive oil (optional)
- good red wine (optional- but it is the secret ingredient!)
- red and green bell peppers
- white onion
If you prefer to make marinara sauce with fresh tomatoes use about 8 pounds of ripe Roma tomatoes in place of canned. Pulse them in the blender to make them a bit smooth before adding to the sauce pot with the rest of the ingredients.
I also highly suggest using the freshest ingredients possible. This will make the marina sauce taste a whole lot better! It’s an easy marinara sauce recipe that is SO HEALTHY and makes the perfect addition to any pasta noodles, spaghetti or zucchini zoodle dishes, meats and pizzas. It can even be pureed to make a healthy tomato basil soup! I promise you’ve gotta try it and will not be disappointing!
One more thing until you are off to the kitchen…
Don’t forget to share will others in the community. Maybe a meal. Maybe your time. Maybe a smile. Leftovers to someone homeless… you never know what JOY it could bring.
Pin this easy marinara sauce recipe!
Easy Marinara Sauce Loaded With Vegetables
- 1 15-ounce can organic stewed or diced tomatoes
- 3 Tablespoons organic tomato paste
- 1/2 small yellow onion finely diced
- 1/4 cup green bell pepper finely diced
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper finely diced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 Tablespoon celery finely diced (optional addition)
- 2 Tablespoons carrots finely diced (optional addition)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon oregano dry
- 1/4 cup fresh basil chopped finely
- 1/4 cup dry red wine
- In a sauce pot add all of the ingredients and cook on medium-high until the edges start to boil. Turn the heat down to a low-medium simmer. Heat for about 20-30 minutes until it reaches your desired thickness and the vegetables are cooked. After 20 minutes, mash the sauce with a meat masher or potato masher to break up the chunks (or pulse in a blender for about 5 seconds).
- Optional to add 1-2 Tablespoon olive oil.