Life with four children can be hectic at times not that I’m complaining, I actually love it! But some evenings are more crazy than others of course when you have children that all need picking up or dropping off at different places at different times and somehow I have to get them all fed in the middle of it all. Arghhh! On my more organised of days *ahem* I will plan ahead and bung something in the slow cooker that can be ready for when we are. But on my less organised of days *cough* I have to be able to whip something up in a flash. Don’t get me wrong, my children are no strangers to junk food, fish finger pizza anyone? But actually I don’t think that lack of time is always a good enough excuse not to cook properly. Real food can be real fast too.
This marinara sauce is so simple to make from scratch and it doesn’t take much more time than it takes to cook the pasta. One of the reasons I love it is that it is so versatile and works well with so many things that you can bung it together with whatever you have in the fridge. Perfect for busy days. It’s worth noting that the sauce keeps really well and can be made up in advance and kept in the fridge (which I actually think makes it taste even better) or it can be frozen if you are feeling super duper efficient and want to get ahead. I’m a bit of a throw it all in and taste it as it goes along sort of cook but I’m guessing that this will give you enough sauce for at least four greedy people.
Ingredients for the marinara sauce:
1 tablespoon(ish) olive oil
1 small onion finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic crushed
1 tin of good quality chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon(ish) dried oregano
pinch of sugar
splash of cream
salt and pepper to taste
I served it this time with spaghetti (you need to allow about 90g of pasta per person) and about 300g of cooked and peeled prawns
Cook the onion and garlic in a pan on a medium heat with the olive oil until they are lovely and soft and smelling delicious.
Add the tin of tomatoes then turn down the heat. I always find that in such a simple sauce, it really is worth spending that little bit more on really good quality tomatoes. I’m liking Cirio Tuscan chopped tomatoes at the minute. They are not much more than a pound a tin but more importantly, they taste fantastic.
Now add the oregano, a good pinch of sugar and season to taste. If you are cooking for teeny tiny people you might want to leave the salt and pepper for the table but of course I don’t need to tell you that. I must admit that I’m not so precious about these things as my youngest is now five!
I now leave the marinara sauce to simmer away as I cook the spaghetti. And then I usually spend the next 10-12 minutes emptying the dishwasher while shouting at children to clear their PlayDoh and or Littlest Pet Shop pets away from the table so that I can set it. But that might be just me.
Drain the cooked spaghetti. In the meantime, add the cooked prawns to the pan of sauce (they literally take a minute to heat through) I like to add a splash of cream at this point too but this is optional. If you follow me on Instagram, I don’t need to tell you that I’m not big on counting calories but if you are more virtuous than me, the sauce works well without it too. Now add the cooked pasta to the pan of marinara sauce with prawns and give it a big old stir then serve. With piles of crusty bread if you must.
Et voila! The best spaghetti marinara ever – enjoy!
If you liked this, you might want to take a look at some of my other recipes here.