Total Recipe cost: $3.79
Servings Per Recipe: 13 (1/2 cup each)
Cost per serving: $0.29
Prep time: 10 min. Cook time: 1 hr. 30 min. Total: 1 hr. 40 min. (mostly passive cooking time)
|two 28 oz. cans||crushed tomatoes||$1.84|
|3 Tbsp||olive oil||$0.32|
|1 6 oz. can||tomato paste||$0.58|
|1 Tbsp||dried basil||$0.15|
|1/2 Tbsp||dried oregano||$0.10|
|2 medium||bay leaves||$0.10|
|1 Tbsp||brown sugar||$0.03|
|2 Tbsp||balsamic vinegar||$0.20|
STEP 1: Finely dice the onion and garlic. Cook in a large pot with 3 Tbsp of olive oil until very soft and slightly golden brown. I wanted to make a sweeter sauce which is why I let the onions and garlic caramelize a bit. If you don't like sweet sauces, proceed to the next step before they get any color on them.
STEP 2: Add the rest of the ingredients (crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, oregano, bay leaves, brown sugar and balsamic vinegar) to the pot. Simmer on medium/low for one hour. Be careful of the splattering sauce! Leave a lid on the pot but slightly ajar to allow steam to escape but keep flying blobs of sauce from landing on your counter top.
STEP 3: Taste the sauce after a half hour or so and adjust spices and seasoning to your liking. The proportions listed above yield a slightly sweet and tangy sauce. If you like savory sauces, leave out the balsamic vinegar and reduce the sugar to 1 tsp. Some sugar is usually needed to balance the high acidity of the tomatoes.
NOTE: If you plan on freezing some of your sauce (I don't know who can eat 6.5 cups of sauce within a week...) make sure to cool the sauce in the refrigerator first in a covered container. Once cool, transfer to heavy duty freezer bags and label. Marinara sauce freezes great and is super easy to take out and thaw whenever you need!