Easy Oil-Free Pasta Sauce

A pasta sauce recipe for lazy people… woohoo!

Why bother making an “easy pasta sauce” recipe when opening a jar of pre-made sauce is even easier?

Well, there’s certainly no shame in using jarred pasta sauce. Believe me, I’ve been there – tired and hungry at home, with not much more than some dry pasta and a random jar of sauce in the cupboard. It still beats going to the drive thru. Or, if you’re making something more elaborate, like lasagna, sometimes it’s nice to just take a shortcut and use a good-quality jarred marinara sauce.

Easy Oil-Free Pasta Sauce

I guess this sauce came about for convenience’s sake. Back when the hubby and I first got our Costco membership, we came across those twelve-packs of organic tomato sauce. I don’t really remember what prompted me to buy that box of cans for the first time; I only know that they’ve been super convenient since then.

Each box of 12 costs about $10 and can last for a while. A versatile pantry staple, I use plain tomato sauce for pasta, pizza, chili, curry, and most recently, ground tofu taco “meat.” It takes on whatever flavors you add to it!

Easy Oil-Free Pasta Sauce

The selling points of making your own quick pasta sauce are:

1) You know what’s in it – no weird chemicals or high-fructose corn syrup here.

2) You control how much salt/sugar/spice/fat goes into it.

3) It tastes way better, since you’re using fresh garlic!

I promise, this recipe doesn’t take too much more effort than just opening a jar. You’ll be done making the sauce in less time than it takes for your pasta to cook. The hardest part is just peeling the garlic cloves and removing the sprout, but if you’re not picky about it, you could just run it all through a garlic press and it will leave the peel behind.

Easy Oil-Free Pasta Sauce

Did I mention this recipe is oil-free?? I used to use olive oil for sauteing the garlic, but I was pleased to discover that my oil-free water sauteing method worked just as well for coaxing that sweet aroma out of the garlic. Okay, so it’s not really my method, because I didn’t invent it. I’d seen other bloggers saute things without oil, but it was That Vegan Couple on YouTube that made me want to give it a go (check out their channel)!

Make this for your next lazy weeknight dinner! Topped with some vegan parmesan and fresh parsley, it turns a simple pasta dish into something special.

Easy Oil-Free Pasta Sauce

Easy Oil-Free Pasta Sauce

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: About 3.5 cups, enough for 1 lb. cooked pasta (8 servings)

Ingredients

  • 2 cans (15 oz. each) plain tomato sauce
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp. organic sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper, or to taste
  • Optional: pinch of red pepper flakes, for heat

Directions

  1. Warm a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add 1-2 tablespoons of water; pan should be hot enough that the water sizzles. Add the garlic and stir frequently for 1-2 minutes until fragrant, adding a little bit more water if it dries out.
  2. Add the tomato sauce and the seasonings. Cover and simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and serve with your favorite pasta, or simmer longer to thicken and use as a pizza sauce.
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Nutrition information below is for 1/8 pasta sauce recipe. Does not include pasta or toppings.

Easy Oil-Free Pasta Sauce nutrition information

2 Comments

  1. Kathy

    Hi Linda – Love your website and am excited to try your recipes. It was great meeting you at the potluck today and hope to see you at future events. I’ve been trying to cut down on oil so I’ll definitely be trying this sauce. Thanks!

  2. Vegan Petite

    Thanks, Kathy! I’m still thinking about that Field Roast quiche you brought! It was great connecting with you and hope to see you soon at another meetup. 🙂

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