An easy marinara sauce, ready in under 30 minutes, that is rich, flavorful and tastes like you cooked all day. The flavors are rounded out with fresh garlic, artichoke hearts and packed full of pepperoni!
This easy marinara sauce recipe is: Gluten Free, Paleo, Primal, Low Carb and Wheat Belly friendly.
An Easy Marinara Sauce, kicked up with Pepperoni & Artichoke Hearts
This easy marinara sauce is going to make you look like a rockstar. There are just no two ways about it. The prep time for the recipe is about 5 minutes, the active cooking is only about 10 minutes and then you sit back while all the flavors meld together. It’s just that easy and the rich, bold sauce screams that you worked all day on it!
Historically, I’ve been the kind of guy who thinks that jarred marinara sauce is fine to use in a pinch. Sometimes I’ll take two different kinds (my favorite is to use a four cheese and a vodka sauce), mix them together and nobody is the wiser. Well, wait until you taste this recipe. The flavor is just exploding in every direction.
Let’s review a couple things before you get started on this recipe:
- Make sure that you sweat the onions long enough so they are just about transparent before adding in the wine. This will allow them to absorb a lot of the flavor from the wine when it is added.
- When you are adding in the wine, make sure you are stirring! Wine has a lot of naturally occurring sugars which will burn if you just leave it sit. Also, make sure that it is cooked off as shown in the picture below.
- Add in the pepperoni and artichoke hearts toward the end of the cooking. I like the artichoke hearts mostly intact, and they tend to break down too much if you add them in right away.
- Make sure you are using the best pepperoni that you can find. When we made this at my catering company, we tried different pepperonis and found that the low quality pepperoni tended to throw off a lot of grease.
REMOVING ACIDITY TIP: Sometimes marinara sauces can start to taste acidic. There are a couple things that you can do to fix this! If it tastes acidic (not metallic), you can add in a pinch of sweetener. This means different things for different people. Sweetener can be stevia, sugar, agave etc. Add sparingly and taste. If you get a little too sweet, add in some salt… again sparingly and taste.
If you don’t want to go the sweet route, you can try some baking soda. Just a bit goes a long way!
If you have a metallic taste, this probably has come from the can which the tomatoes were in. Most times you can work through this with a little salt.
TYPE OF PAN TO USE: Okay… typically I just say that we are going to use a heavy bottom pan etc. I would caution against using your cast iron pan when you are working with tomatoes. The acidic nature of the tomato tends to cause a couple things to happen with cast iron. First, it can remove the seasoning on the pan. Sure, it can be fixed but why bother? Start with enameled cast iron or stainless steel. Second, it can add a metallic flavor to some tomato dishes. I’m not exactly sure why, I just know that it has happened to me enough that I stick with stainless or enameled. I know there are varying opinions on using cast iron, but this is what I have found more often than not!
Okay… enough tips. Let’s get going on this Easy Marinara Sauce!
Easy Marinara Sauce with Pepperoni
- 1 Spanish Onion peeled and diced
- 2 TBSP Olive Oil
- 2 TSP Garlic minced, approx 3 cloves
- 1 TSP Basil dried
- 1 TSP Oregano dried
- 1 TSP Crushed Red Peppers optional, this will not make it too hot- just adds flavor!
- 1/2 Cup Red Wine I used a Meritage
- 1 28 OZ Can Diced Tomatoes organic preferable
- 1/2 Cup Diced Pepperoni (I just quartered stacks of pepperoni then measured)
- 1 12 OZ Can Quartered Artichoke Hearts not marinated
- Kosher Salt & Fresh Cracked Pepper
- Heat a large, heavy bottom pan over medium high heat. Add in the olive oil. When it shimmers, add in the chopped onion and a good pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 7-8 minutes or until the onions are turning translucent.
- Add in the garlic, cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. After a minute, add in the dried spices and cook for 1 minute more.
- Add in the wine. Stirring constantly, allow the wine to cook off for about 2-3 minutes.
- Add in the Diced Tomatoes, including all the juice from the can. Reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer for 10-12 minutes.
- Add in the artichoke hearts and pepperoni. Stir. Allow to simmer for another 5-10 minutes. Taste, adjust seasoning and taste again.
- Serve hot over your favorite pasta dish!
Final thoughts on the Easy Marinara Sauce recipe:
You can dress up this recipe with some homemade meatballs (recipe coming soon!), add in some seasoned ground beef or even some Italian sausage. If you want a little more rustic feel to your dish, add in some sauteed mushrooms. If you add in mushrooms, add them in after the sauce is coming together.
This would be great over any type of noodle. Since I’m not a huge fan of gluten-free noodles (the list of reasons why is long… ask me sometime!) we put these over Zoodles in our house. A zoodle is simply a zucchini noodle. They are delicious together, which is why you see them in the pictures together in this post!
If you decide to venture out and make this recipe, please let us know your thoughts!