Best-Ever Marinara and the Super Awesome Cover-to-Cover Project

Clay and Zach over at The Bitten Word put their readers to work this month by asking for help in making every single recipe in 6 food magazines for their Super Awesome Cover-to-Cover Project.  These guys are ambitious!  Those of us who volunteered were given an assignment.  My assignment?  Best-Ever Marinara from October’s issue of Food & Wine.  This made me laugh, one of my first posts was about an unbelievably beautiful and long simmering marinara recipe, a marinara that is still highly coveted by my husband.  So here I am again, making another marinara recipe and blogging about it.  Anything for The Bitten Word.  I’m not worthy!

Fortunately for me, this marinara took only a fraction of the time to make than Tony Ciccone’s simmering 4 hour masterpiece.  And that’s the great thing about this recipe.  It is incredibly easy!  Just look at the ingredients!  You probably have most of it in your pantry already.  I sure did!

The end result?  Pretty darn delicious.  Although canned tomatoes are used, this sauce tastes fresh and flavorful and would pair nicely with a number of pasta dishes, especially pasta stuffed with cheese.  Yummmmmm…….  I wish I had taken the time to make stuffed shells or even Tony Ciccone’s meatballs with fresh fettucine.  But alas, I was short on time, so I used a spinach and cheese ravioli I found in the deli section at the grocery store.  Still quite tasty.  Since it’s such an easy recipe with few ingredients, this marinara is perfect for a weeknight pasta dish.  I simply froze the leftover sauce.

Best-Ever Marinara from the October 2012 Issue of Food & Wine


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 peeled and halved garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • One 35-ounce can whole peeled Italian tomatoes (I couldn’t find a 35-ounce can. I used 1 28-0unce can and half of a 14.5-ounce can)
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 2 basil sprigs


In a large saucepan, heat the extra-virgin olive oil. Add the garlic cloves and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and crush them with the back of a spoon; season with salt and pepper. Stir in the sugar and basil sprigs and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened and reduced to 3 cups, about 30 minutes. Discard the basil sprigs and garlic.

Best-Ever Marinara with Spinach and Cheese Ravioli

I can’t wait to see this picture on The Bitten Word, y’all!


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