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A marinara worthy of freezing

Catherine Burns says that for a fantastic marinara, all that’s really needed is a great quality tin of crushed tomatoes

Two weeks in and I’ve forgotten what life was like without a puppy.

Arloe has settled in and is an affectionate, bouncing ball of joy. She’s a pretty good shoe thief, loves to chew blankets and is surprisingly fond of zucchini.

She also loves blueberries, yoghurt, frozen banana and pumpkin but has said a hard no to carrots. It seems that just like kids, puppies can have some strange likes and dislikes.

The girls are 90 per cent head over heels and 10 per cent bewildered by how much work it all is.

They have been amazing but this morning Belle said to me, after playing with her already for an hour and trying to escape for a break, “I want to be with her, but I also don’t want to be with her ….do you know what I mean?!”

Yes, Belle, a resounding, 100 per cent yes. Welcome to parenthood. It’s a beautiful privilege that you would never give up …. and also relentlessly exhausting.

It’s a weird feeling to know you would run across hot coals for the very thing that deprives you of sleep like a tiny terrorist AND you have to clean up its poop!

I did worry that having a puppy might mean a little less time for cooking but Arloe is pretty great at watching me work – see, puppies and babies ARE the same – and letting me get on with it.

Good thing too as I’ve had a small obsession with filling and freezing mason jars lately. It started at Christmas when I made a huge batch of collagen-rich, eight-hour turkey broth and froze it for future use.

Then I made steamed pumpkin to add to Arloe’s food. Then I decided to try my hand at homemade marinara. Everything’s getting so expensive and I’d heard that all you really need is a great quality tin of crushed tomatoes as a base.

Not tomato sauce, not chopped tomatoes, but crushed tomatoes. In the recipe below, I used the San Marzano brand.

I have to say, this was one of the quickest and easiest things I have done – plus it’s super flexible. Try different herbs, adding chilli, an infused oil or maybe some chopped roasted veg (zucchini, eggplant, mushrooms) to make a garden sauce.

I also think quality extra virgin olive oil is important for the taste difference, but use what you can. (For the olive oil connoisseurs among you, check out the shelves at Miles!)

This made about three cups of sauce, so once you have done it once and checked you love it, make a big batch for the freezer!

Tip: best to freeze in glass jars and definitely leave enough space at the top as the sauce will expand when it freezes. If you have ever left a wine bottle in the freezer accidentally you will know how that turns out!

Homemade Marinara Sauce


3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

½ medium red onion, finely chopped

3 cloves fresh garlic, minced

2 tins (28oz) good quality crushed tomatoes

½ tsp dried oregano

¼ tsp dried basil

½ tsp sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 tbsp fresh basil, very finely chopped


1. Sauté the onion in the oil over a medium heat until the onions start to become tender.

2. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until the garlic is fragrant.

3. Add the tomatoes, oregano, dried basil, salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then immediately simmer.

4. Gently simmer for 30 to 45 mins, allowing the flavours to blend. Use a lidded pan if you can so that not too much fluid escapes.

5. Add the fresh basil and stir through.

6. Use what you need immediately then cool the rest completely. Store in the fridge for up to a week, or for 3 months in the freezer.

Catherine Burns is a qualified nutritional therapist. For more details: www.natural.bm, 505-4725, Natural Nutrition Bermuda on Facebook and @naturalbda on Instagram

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Published January 27, 2023 at 8:05 am (Updated January 27, 2023 at 8:05 am)

A marinara worthy of freezing

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