Homemade Marinara with Penne Pasta

One of our favorite meals at my parent’s house is my mom’s lasagna. She doesn’t make it often, but when she does… it’s on. Obviously what makes her lasagna so good is her homemade marinara sauce. Even though I watched her make it for years, it never occurred to me that I could make one just as good. Well, I gave it a shot, with my own tweaks and preferences and I must say, I may have enjoyed it a little bit more than my moms! My boyfriend made it clear that we’re never purchasing store bought sauces ever again, as this one took the cake. Now, the beautiful thing about cooking is that there isn’t much measuring going on when it comes to spices. Everyone feels differently about their spices and I encourage everyone to add/subtract whatever they feel will work better for their household. I didn’t measure any of the spices I put into my sauce, I just tasted as I went until it was perfect for me. There are only two of us in my home and we had leftover sauce for an additional two meals. Feel free to half or double this recipe, depending on how many mouths you’re feeding and how much leftovers you want. 🙂

Ingredients:
• 2 tsp. olive oil
• 2 garlic cloves
• 2 tsp. red pepper flakes
• 1 lb ground beef
• 1 15oz. can tomato sauce
• 2 15oz. can tomato puree
• 1 28oz. can crushed tomatoes
• 1 12oz. can tomato paste
• 2 bay leaves
• Salt
• Pepper
• Garlic powder
• Onion powder
• Basil
Ingredients for marinara sauce

To get started, sauté the red pepper flakes and garlic in the olive oil. Try not to breathe in right over the pot, you’ll have a coughing fit… like I did. haha. Also, my mom likes to sauté onions at this part as well, but I’m not a huge fan of onions, so I used onion powder later on instead. You’ll be done once the garlic cloves are soft.
Saute garlic and pepper flakes
Chop up the garlic cloves and toss them back in the pan.
Brown the ground beef, drain and rinse well. My mom likes to add italian sausage as well, but I only used the ground beef.
Add the beef to the pepper flakes and garlic.
Ground beef
Toss in all of the tomato can contents and spices.
Crunch up the bay leaves and sprinkle them into the pot as well.
While on medium/high heat stir everything well.
All is ready to simmer
Allow the sauce to heat until it just begins to boil, turn down the heat and simmer. I had mine simmering for two hours, while stirring occasionally.
You can test the taste with a piece of bread or getting a spoonful. If you feel it needs anything extra, add whatever will get you your perfect sauce.
I used some gluten free penne pasta. I was surprised that gluten free pasta doesn’t taste any different than regular pasta, definitely going to continue to purchase!
Gluten free penne
Cook your pasta as indicated on the box and toss with your homemade sauce.
I sprinkled some parmesan flakes on top and served with garlic toast.
Completed dinner
Have a good day!

2 thoughts on “Homemade Marinara with Penne Pasta

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