Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce

The minute I read this recipe I knew I would make it sooner than later for many reasons:
  • Since the middle of summer, I have been slowly weaning my family away from processed foods, opting instead for a more healthy approach. 
  • Because I have never been very successful at making homemade Marinara Sauce, I was still using the jarred varieties.
  • My attempts at the homemade version always ended up acidic, tangy, too sweet or some strange combination of flavors that wasn't enjoyable to eat. 
  • I wanted to make the sauce that tasted like an Italian grandmother had made it. 
Finally, I found this recipe and it is not understatement when I say, this sauce has saved me from Marinara despair!  Yes, it is more expensive to make than getting a jar for free using coupons, however sometimes it's worth it to me to pay a little more for the flavor and health benefits of making my own.  It is rich and tomatoey, but not with that weird raw tomato flavor.  It is wonderful alone on pasta with a sprinkling of cheese or with the addition of Italian sausage or ground beef.  So next time you can get canned tomato products on a great sale stock up and try this sauce, you might never go back to the free stuff again!

I am sharing this recipe over at Premeditated Leftovers, go take a look!

Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce

Recipe Source: Modified ever so slightly from The Cooking Photographer

printable version
**Note from The Cooking Photographer- This marinara cooks for about 10 hours, so it’s often easier to make this the day before you’ll be using it for your recipe.
Using good quality canned tomato products makes a big difference in this sauce. Also, If you have time, rubbing the leafy spices between the palms of your hands helps release their flavors.

28 ounce can crushed tomatoes in rich puree
29 ounce can no sugar tomato sauce
6 ounce can tomato paste

1 cup water
1/2 cup good red wine
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, crushed and finely minced or pressed through a garlic press

1 teaspoon sugar, to taste

1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons onion powder

1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 large bay leaf or two small

Stir the ingredients together and cook on low for 10 to 12 hours in your slow cooker, stirring occasionally.

Total Cost- About $3.76
for 9 cups of sauce.  I froze half and used half for spaghetti
Tomato Products-$2.00
Olive Oil-$.20
Spices-$.40 (give or take I haven't figured all my spice yet)
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  1. Darn processed food. I have been trying to stay away from them as well. Luckily, I don't like store bought spaghetti sauce (or I have yet to find one I like). This looks very good and not sweet(?) I dont like sweet spaghetti sauces.

  2. I was really happy with this recipe. Too sweet is never a good thing with spaghetti sauce!

  3. So funny that you talk about sweet spaghetti sauce. We made spaghetti tonight & I used jar sauce and hated it. SOOO SWEET. I even made that comment to my husband. I guess I checked your blog a day too late!!

  4. wow what a good idea. I never thought about making marinara in the slow cooker. I actually have a sauce recipe from my Italian grandmother that I love, and a marinara recipe from Williams Sonoma that's quite good, but I'm actually really interested in trying this one. I just love the slow cooker and the fact that it cooks while you're not there!

  5. This is very, very close to how I make my sauce, the slow-cooked variety anyway! I have never added paprika, but I like the sound of it.

    Next time instead of dried basil, try adding 1/4 cup of chopped fresh basil right before you serve it. Fresh basil makes such a huge difference in marinara!

    Also, the cost per serving will go down for you if you have a costco nearby! HUGE cans (equal to 3-4 of the grocery store sized "big" cans, for sure) cost between $3-$4 there.

  6. Pioneer Cookerella, I couldn't agree more with you on the fresh basil. I sadly killed my plant towards the end of summer...I guess they like water?!

  7. This looks so tasty! I am going to try it with tomaotes from my garden.

  8. Alea it is very good with fresh tomatoes and also home canned. I hope you like it!

  9. This was great and the house smelled fabulous when we got home. Thanks for the recipe! Will definitely make again.