Rachael Ray's Marinara Sauce

This take on the classic Italian sauce is a great way to dress up your pasta, meatballs, or panini all week long. The fennel seeds and chilies add some heat to the sauce, as well as, magnesium and vitamin C to make your stomach a little stronger. This marinara sauce is a great for a family meal and for your health.

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1/4 cup olive oil
8 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 fresh or dried pepperoncino, finely chopped
2 (28-32 ounce) can San Marzano tomatoes
2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
handful fresh basil leaves, torn

1. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil (4 turns of the pan) over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir for 2 minutes.


2. Add the fennel and chile and stir for a minute more. Hand-crush the tomatoes as you add them to the pan, then add the juices from the cans.


3. Add the thyme, season with salt and pepper, and bring to a bubble. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or so.


4. Add the basil and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes more.


5. To serve, cook 1 pound pasta to al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. Toss the pasta with half the sauce and some of the starchy water. Serve with topped with the remaining sauce.


Makes about 6 cups