Yield: Yields 9-1/2 to 10 cups.
This large batch of sauce freezes well and can be used for many a quick meal.
Once the marinara sauce is already made, these variations on the basic sauce can be pulled together in the time it takes to cook the pasta. These sauces will all coat a pound of pasta to serve four.
Basil Marinara: In a small saucepan, heat 3 Tbs. olive oil or butter. Pour in 3 cups marinara, bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Stir in 1/4 to 1/2 cup torn basil leaves. Simmer for 5 min. and toss with 1 lb. warm pasta. Serve with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Arrabbiata Sauce: In a medium saucepan, heat 2 Tbs. olive oil over medium heat. Add 1/4 lb. (3/4 cup) finely diced pancetta or fatty prosciutto, 2 tsp. minced garlic, and a scant 1/2 tsp. chile flakes; cook until the garlic is golden, 3 to 4 min. Add 3 cups marinara and 1/4 cup torn basil leaves and simmer until hot. Toss with 1 lb. warm pasta. Serve with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Mock Bolognese Ragù: In a large sauté pan melt 3 Tbs. butter over medium heat. Add 1 cup finely chopped onion, 2 finely chopped cloves garlic, and 1/4 cup each very finely chopped carrot and celery; cook until softened, about 5 min. Increase the heat to medium high, add 1 lb. ground beef and cook until browned, breaking up the meat with a spoon, 4 to 5 min. Pour in 3/4 cup red wine and boil until reduced to 1 Tbs., 3 to 5 min. Add 3 cups marinara and 1/2 cup cream or milk. Simmer until the sauce has thickened enough to softly mound on a spoon, about 8 min. Toss with 1 lb. warm pasta. Serve with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Pink Sauce: In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt 4 Tbs. butter. Pour in 1-1/2 cups heavy cream. Raise the heat to medium high, simmer, stirring often, until it has reduced to 3/4 to 1 cup, 8 to 10 min. Stir in 1/2 cup marinara and season with salt, pepper, and freshly grated nutmeg. Smmer until hot. Toss with 1 lb. warm pasta. Serve with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Puttanesca Sauce: In a large sauté pan over medium heat, lightly brown 3 large cloves crushed garlic in 3 Tbs. olive oil, mashing the cloves into the oil with a spoon as the cook. Discard the garlic and mash 5 anchovy fillets (rinsed and patted dry) into the hot oil until they’re dissolved, about 30 seconds. Stir in 2-1/2 Tbs. rinsed capers and 1/4 tsp. chile flakes and cook for 3 min. Add 3 cups marinara, 1/2 cup pitted, quartered black olives, 1-1/2 tsp. dried oregano, and 1/4 cup very roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsely. Simmer until hot. Toss with 1 lb. warm pasta. Serve with freshly grated Romano cheese.
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This sauce is wonderful! I follow the suggestion of freezing in 2 cup portions.I have been making this for years!
If you make this sauce, you'll never buy bottled sauce again. It is so easy, and so versatile. It freezes beautifully too. I made this for a fund raiser at my church for 100 people and it got rave reviews! Ty it!
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