I’m never buying jarred marinara sauce again.

Never, ever, ever.

It just doesn’t make sense when you can make something so easy and so amazing from scratch.

Andy Ziegler walked me through this simple recipe for a red pan sauce. I used it in an eggplant/zucchini casserole but you could eat it over pasta or in any dish that calls for an Italian red sauce or right out of the pan. Manatee and I were fighting over the remnants. He totally fell for the ‘hey-look-over-there’ trick.

Homemade Red Sauce Formula

Onions and garlic sauteed in oil

+whole peeled tomatoes

+ vegetables of your choice

+ a little red wine (optional)

= an amazing red sauce

Homemade Red Sauce a la Badger Girl

On low heat, saute the minced garlic and diced onion in olive oil until golden brown.


Add vegetables. I used 4-5 carrots and three spicy peppers. The carrots add sweetness and the peppers give it some kick.


Squeeze canned whole peeled tomatoes before plopping them in mixture. I used two cans. This is my favorite part but watch out, it makes a mess. I should have taken a picture of Manatee cringing each time I sprayed tomato guts over the stove. If you aim your squeeze down, it will be less messy. But come on, what fun is that?


Crank up heat to medium high. You can also add fresh herbs here like basil and oregano.

Add red wine. Better sample it first. And after. And during.


Let it cook down until sauce has thickened.


Recipe Review:

This was so good and so easy. We let it simmer for 20 minutes and I don’t think we needed to wait that long. If you are making pasta, I would start the pasta water when you add the tomatoes. That should give it plenty of time to cook and keep this to a quick weeknight meal. We can’t wait to try more variations with the vegetables.




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