Marinated Tomato Sauce Is A Fresh And Flavorful Twist On A Classic

Anyone who's had a truly delicious, fresh red sauce can attest — not all sauces are created equal. And there's nothing quite like a well-made tomato sauce for elevating an otherwise run-of-the-mill dish like soup, pasta, or pizza into something truly spectacular. Next time you're preparing a dish that calls for tomato sauce, try making a marinated version. This twist on the classic method is as simple as it is delicious and flavorful, and will have you swearing you were dining on the coast of Italy.

Unlike most traditional sauces you've either made or picked up at the grocery store, a marinated tomato sauce doesn't involve the stove (except to prep the tomatoes for peeling) and it allows your ingredients to marinate in their own juices and flavors. San Marzano tomatoes especially shine here; they hail from Italy and are renowned as the ideal variety for sauces.

Marinated sauces start by combining peeled and diced tomatoes with fresh garlic, torn basil leaves, salt and pepper, and other add-ins to your liking, such as lemon juice and red pepper flakes to round out the recipe. Mix all of your ingredients together and leave it to sit for an hour or more. During this time, the flavors meld into one another, creating a vibrant, bright sauce. Drizzle with olive oil for the finishing touch. A homemade marinated sauce may be easy to pull together, but don't let its simple method fool you — the flavor is off the charts.

How to use your marinated tomato sauce

We wouldn't blame you if you were tempted to eat this marinated sauce straight out of the bowl with a spoon, and feel free to do so. But there are also a plethora of ways to enjoy a marinated tomato sauce for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Because really, there's no such thing as too much of a thing this good.

This sauce is heavenly when spooned over crusty toast as a breakfast; enjoy it plain or add a layer of cream or cottage cheese, then dollop the sauce on top for an easy spin on a chunky bruschetta. Or, use it anywhere you would a traditional sauce, such as atop pasta, on the crust of a homemade pizza, or spooned on top of braised greens, roasted root veggies, chicken or grilled tempeh, or anything that would benefit from a burst of fresh, fragrant goodness. Unlike a traditional cooked sauce which has a thinner, smoother consistency, a marinated sauce has a mouthfeel and appearance more akin to a tomato salad or fresh salsa, with its chunky consistency. This allows the blended flavors of the tomatoes, garlic, and basil to shine through, and lends a freshness and vibrancy that wakes up anything you add it to.