Easy dinner ideas - Spaghetti with red sauce

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves 4



__Red sauce and pasta__

6 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

1 medium Yellow onion (sliced)

3 cloves of Garlic (peeled and chopped finely or pressed)

2 6 oz cans of Contadina tomato paste

1 32 oz can of Diced tomatoes

1 32 oz jar of Marinara tomato sauce

1 lb Spaghetti

__Garlic bread__

1 loaf Fresh Italian Pugiliese bread

1 stick of butter

Garlic salt


Red pepper flakes

8 oz Pecorino romano cheese (grated)

1 bunch Fresh parsley (chopped finely)


__Red sauce and pasta__

Cut the onion in half and slice it up. Peel and chop the garlic cloves finely or put aside for pressing when making the sauce.

__Garlic bread__

Slice the Pugiliese loaf into eight thick pieces. Spread one pat of butter on each and sprinkle with garlic salt. Put aside until last 10 minutes of sauce simmering.


Grate cheese if needed and put aside for serving time. Finely chop up parsley and put aside for serving time.

Making the Red sauce

Heat up the extra virgin olive oil in a large pot. Add chopped garlic or press it into the hot oil. Add diced tomatoes. When sauce is bubbling add two cans of paste and 2 cans of water. Stir the paste mixture in until smooth. When sauce returns to bubbling, add the jar of marinara sauce. Cover and simmer the sauce on low for at least 30 minutes. Stir frequently and check to make sure that the sauce does not burn on the bottom of the pot.

At the last 10 minutes of simmering the sauce, proceed on to the last two steps below, “Cooking the Pasta” and “Toasting the garlic bread”

Cooking the Pasta

When the sauce is in its last 10 minutes of simmering, fill a pot large enough to cook 1 lb of pasta with water. Add a tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and a dash of sea salt. This will boil the water faster and keep the pasta from sticking together. Bring water to a rolling boil and add pasta. Return water to a boil and cook pasta for about 10 minutes or when it is done al dente. Drain pasta and save a cup of the pasta water.

Toasting the Garlic bread

When the sauce is in its last 10 minutes of simmering, heat oven to 350 F. Put tray of garlic bread in oven for 10 minutes. Serve hot.


Serving bowls are recommended over plates. Place about a quarter of the pasta into each bowl. Pour a quarter of the reserve pasta water over the pasta in each bowl. Pour a quarter of the sauce over the pasta in each bowl.

Top with cheese, red pepper flakes and parsley to taste.

Serve with a couple of pieces of garlic bread on top or on the side.

A nice green salad with Italian dressing is recommended.

Leftover sauce can be frozen for later.

Wine or beer pairing

Pair with a Syrah or lager of your choice.


Image by mhaller, CC via flickr

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