Serve this sauce over pasta with Cristina's Classic Meatball recipe.
Servings: Serves 6–8 or makes 1 pound of pasta
Marinara Sauce:
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic , peeled and smashed
  • 2 cans (28 ounces each) chopped tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8 to 10 fresh basil leaves , rolled like a cigarette, then sliced thin (chiffonade)
Heat a saucepan on medium heat. Add olive oil and garlic.

Sauté garlic until it starts to turn a golden color. Be careful not to burn the garlic, or your sauce will taste bitter. If this happens, discard and start again.

Add the tomatoes, salt, sugar, red pepper flakes and meatballs.

Turn the heat down and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes. For optional extra creaminess, stir 1 Tbsp. of unsalted butter into the sauce just before serving.

While the sauce is cooking, prepare water for the pasta. Cook your pasta according to the directions on the package. This recipe will accommodate 1 pound of pasta. 

Three important notes when cooking pasta:
1. Use pasta that is made with semolina flour for best results.
2. Make sure you salt the water (1 Tbsp. per 4 quarts of water).
3. Make sure the water is at a boil.

When the pasta is almost ready, gently remove the meatballs from the sauce. Cover to keep warm and set aside.

Drain the pasta. Do not rinse. Put the pasta back into the pot you boiled it in.

Remove the garlic from the sauce and discard (or you can spread it on some bread!)

Add 2 ladles of the sauce to the pasta and mix. 

Pour the pasta into a pasta bowl and add the meatballs and the rest of the sauce on top. You can also serve the meatballs on the side if you wish. 

Garnish with the Parmesan cheese and fresh basil.


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