Without my pictures, it’s hard to remember all the different things I’ve tried making. Looking back on what I have made, I realize that I don’t seem to make particularly challenging or exciting food. Rather, it seems like what I make the most are foods that people would probably take a shortcut on and just buy at a store. Some immediate examples that spring to my head are hamburger buns, yogurt and marinara sauce.

For me, I take satisfaction in knowing that my food is preservative-free and all the ingredients are pronounceable. Also, Martin and I have banned high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated oils from our kitchen, so making these things ourselves makes it pretty easy to keep that up. You would not believe how many “healthy” items actually sneak some HFCS in there! Wheat bread, yogurt, granola … it got to the point where learning to do it ourselves was easier than checking the labels of everything we buy.

In the interest of full disclosure, Martin and I do find ourselves making a few exceptions to the HFCS and trans-fat rule. We keep a supply of various canned sodas on hand for guests and though I am pretty rabid about partially hydrogenated oils, I have not been able to bring myself to give up my beloved Samoas.

So I got pretty far sidetracked from the real topic of this post, which is the marinara sauce I have been making lately. Let’s return to our regularly scheduled programming, because I could go on and on about food choices and most people probably don’t want that!

Martin and I recently bought a big case of canned tomato sauce from Costco. I used to buy these for $1 – $2 a can from the grocery store, but realized we were going through them very quickly because I tend to make all tomato-based sauces myself rather than buying any jarred sauce.

I have an on-stock marinara sauce recipe that I follow when I’m not feeling very creative that is pretty tasty and super easy to make. It takes a handful of ingredients that are easy to keep on hand, pulls together in a snap and all it takes is a little time to let the sauce simmer for the flavors to mingle together. It’s also easy enough to modify – add vegetables or meat or different herbs to take it to the next level. I cannot wait to try it with some of the herbs growing out in my garden.

Homemade Marinara Sauce

2 (14.5 oz.) cans tomato sauce
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
4 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
6 tbsp. olive oil
⅓ cup finely diced onion
½ cup white wine or chicken broth

1- Heat olive oil large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for 2 minutes, until tender.

2- Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Servings: Enough for 6 – 8 servings spaghetti