This weekend, Josh and I did a belated Valentines day dinner. Last year for Valentine’s day I made us a a non-vegan Italian dinner but since we switched to a plant-based diet this year, that was no longer an option. I did some digging around and found The Minimalist Baker’s Eggplant Lasagna Roll-Ups. They are filled with a tofu based, vegan ricotta and nestled in marinara sauce. I cannot recommend her recipe enough, and if you are looking to make a delicious, date-night meal I would highly suggest trying it. I pretty much followed her recipe exactly but I served the roll-ups with pasta and a salad I did make my own marinara sauce.
Marinara is a simple recipe in terms of ingredients but, for it to taste best, it does need to simmer for a while. The longer you cook it down, the more the flavors come together. If I have time, I will even make the sauce the night before I need it and put it in the fridge overnight. It’s honestly surprising how much more flavorful it gets as you let it sit.
It is one of my favorite recipes and I’ve been making it for years. Every time I make Italian food, this is my go-to sauce and I am really excited to share the recipe.
Ingredients (Prep Time: 10 min. Total time: 40 Min. Serves: 5):
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper (optional)
- 29 oz. can crushed tomatoes
- 14 oz. can tomato sauce
- 1/2 tsp. sugar (coconut sugar or agave would work also)
- 1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large saucepan heat olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add in onion and sauté until softened (about 5 minutes).
- Add in garlic, oregano, crushed red pepper and cook until fragrant and garlic softens.
- Reduce heat to low, add crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce and sugar. Stir and let simmer for at least 25 minutes (up to an hour if you have time)* stirring every once in a while to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Stir in chopped basil and parsley and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Put this sauce on whatever your heart desires, dip bread in it, have it plain with pasta, or use it for a fancy schmancy date night meal.
*The longer you can let the sauce simmer the better. If I have time, I will let it simmer for an hour. It lets the sauce thicken and the flavor develop.