Mama's Marinara

Yesterday was the big day! Not only did I host a "jump-party" for my 4-year old's birthday, but I also hosted a family dinner - and the birthday boy requested Mama's Spaghetti & Meatballs. With a bit of planning, in three easy steps I was able to make it happen.

Step One: Meatballs The meatballs were baked & frozen last weekend, and it saved a lot of time. Check out Meatballs 101 to see my recipe.

Step Two: Sauce Saturday morning I pulled together the sauce and let it bubble away in the slow cooker for 5 hours on the lowest setting. Don't forget to compost your veg-scraps.

After I transferred the sauce to the slow cooker, I added the frozen meatballs and let them labor the sauce and gently warm all afternoon.

Step Three: Noodles, Garlic Bread, etc. An hour before dinner, get the pasta water going, make the garlic topping for the bread & grab your garnishes.

Mama's Marinara: Ingredients:

  • 2 jars of canned tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 5 cloves of garlic, pulverized
  • 2 large shallots, chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced (I had a bag of shredded carrots so I repurposed them!)
  • salt & pepper
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp of dried thyme
  • 1 tsp of dried oregano
  • garnish with fresh grated parmesan cheese to top your mountain of pasta


  1. in a large dutch oven, sauté your soffritto of garlic, shallot & carrots, 5-10 mins
  2. add red pepper flakes as well as your salt & pepper to the soffritto
  3. add the tomatoes & dried herbs, bring to a simmer
  4. cover & cook over low heat all day long, stirring occasionally
  5. alternatively, after step 3 is complete, transfer your sauce to a slow cooker and cook on low for 4-6 hours
  6. toss with your fav noodles and enjoy!