Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Homemade Marinara Meat Sauce! Bon Appétit!

I tell ya, once you’ve made your own pasta sauce it is so difficult going back to the jarred stuff! I originally found this recipe (a couple of years ago) from Now, a funny story for you though. How did I come across this recipe? It’s not that I wanted to make my own pasta sauce. But I was actually looking for recipes that had a certain ingredient in it…. Fennel seed. Yes, one day I accidently bought fennel seed thinking that it was the same thing as caraway seeds… I DON’T THINK SO! Oops… but like I have said before, you live and you learn. So I decided to try out this recipe with fennel seed in it – why not, right? Literally, a couple thousand people had rated this recipe very high, so I felt confident. The sauce was actually for a lasagna (I have made it a few times before), but it obviously works for just pasta too! Oh, by the way, the fennel seed flavors the sauce wonderfully!

This time I tweaked the recipe a little though. Last week, our neighbors had David and I over for dinner. Pasta with a thick, chunky marinara sauce (meatballs and sausage included) was on the menu. The marinara was combined with pureed vegetables to help thicken it up. What a great idea right? And a note to parents: this is how you get your kids to eat their veggies… puree vegetables into the marinara sauce. They won’t notice a difference! I never had a problem eating my veggies though!

So I decided to puree carrots and add them to my sauce. Really, you couldn’t even tell they were in there! I also added diced bell peppers, ground beef , sliced turkey sausage, and fresh spices (got to use the leaves from my new basil plant!) to my sauce. Yum! Oh but wait, another funny story for you to keep you humored…. I was using tomato paste in my sauce, and the recipe calls for two cans of tomato paste, but I only had one. So I had remembered a while back I had bought a tube of tomato paste, which is good to use if you are only using a small amount – it can be refrigerated for a later use. Since I needed a whole can though, I just decided to put in the whole tube of paste. So I’m squeezing and squeezing, trying to get it all out… and as I am nearing the end of the tube it was harder to get the paste out. Now remember, be careful, and make sure you are aiming the opening of the tube into the pot and not at yourself! Lesson learned! Tomato paste all over my shirt… and the wall… figures… it’s me!

The sauce was delicious though. I served it over tortellini, which you can’t exactly see in the picture (I LOVE sauce, can ya blame me?). I topped the dish with fresh basil – yum! Bon appétit!


  1. Rachel! You've been busy since I was gone. When I make marinara, I use just canned tomatoes and a few other ingredients. I imagine the paste makes the sauce thicker. Love the basil leaf garnish!

  2. Meagan! You and Chris will need to come for dinner one of these nights! I LOVE tomato paste.. it does make the sauce a lot thicker.. and if you are like me and LOVE marinara sauce, then the thicker the better! David even said he would have liked it thicker, which we tried another night, and indeed, it was fabulous! Thanks for following my blogs! It is nice to have a couple of fans out there :) Please give any suggestions or even new recipe ideas!