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Monday Night Marinara

(recipe, Jen Smith)

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I love to eat this quick marinara sauce atop linguini, over cheesy polenta, or even slathered on a hearty fried-egg sandwich. It whips up in less than 30 minutes, and goes great with all kinds of tasty add-ins; I’ve used everything from roasted veggies to canned clams. This recipe is infinitely flexible, so don’t run to the store to buy thyme if you’ve got sage growing on your windowsill.


  1. 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  2. ½ onion, chopped into medium dice
  3. 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  4. 1 sprig fresh thyme, finely chopped
  5. 1 can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes
  6. Salt to taste
  7. Pinch of sugar or splash of wine or vermouth (optional)


  1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes and thyme, as well as a hearty pinch of salt.
  2. Simmer until somewhat reduced and thickened, at least 15 minutes, but up to 35. Use an immersion blender to blend it into a thick sauce; leave it somewhat chunky, or go smooth.
  3. Taste for seasoning, and add salt and sugar or wine if necessary to balance the flavor and acidity.