May 18, 2021
This marinara sauce is thick and spicy; perfect for dipping mozzarella sticks, breadsticks, and garlic bread! Like any good dipping sauce, it's chunky, with pieces of tomato, onion, and garlic mixed in with herbs and red pepper flakes. The pepper flakes are optional; leave them out or reduce the amount if you're not into spicy foods!
Since this sauce is mostly crushed tomatoes, I recommend using a good brand. The flavor of canned tomatoes varies widely. I personally look for San Marzano tomatoes that were grown in Italy. They're pricier, but I think the flavor justifies the price.
This recipe uses the smaller-size, 15-oz. can of crushed tomatoes, since mozzarella sticks will require less sauce. You can keep leftover sauce in a covered container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days; freeze it for longer storage. Reheat in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Add water if needed.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, then add chopped onion. Cook until the onion is just beginning to turn golden, about 6-8 minutes.
Add garlic, basil, oregano, and red pepper and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the tomato paste to the pan and mix well. Cook for 30 seconds, then add crushed tomatoes, maple syrup, and salt. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until thickened, about 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and serve with mozzarella sticks, breadsticks, or anything else you’d like!
Leave out the red pepper flakes for a heat-free version. Or, add more pepper to increase the heat.
Use a high-quality brand of crushed tomatoes for the best flavor. (I like San Marzano tomatoes imported from Italy.)
Note: This data should be used only as an estimate. Please see the nutrition section of my terms and conditions for more information on how this data is calculated.
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