Easy Chunky Marinara


After getting hacked a couple weeks ago, thinking my site was literally blown to smithereens, I’m a bit spooked.  So here I am, tentatively climbing back on the food blogging horse, with this simple, all-purpose Allergy-Friendly Easy Chunky Marinara sauce. Please, hacker person, don’t hurt this blog post!

I wrote this recipe for those of us who want to be sure our sauce is really allergy-friendly, but also, for those looking to avoid excess sodium. Most jarred sauces are loaded with sodium.  Look for Muir Glenn tomatoes, when you make this sauce, they are lower sodium, organic, and canned in BPA-free cans.

When I was younger, I thought you couldn’t make a good red sauce without simmering it for hours. I’ve realized, that just ain’t so! It’s just a different type of sauce, with a different set of skills.  This fresh, lightly simmered sauce is great for all your Italian American recipe needs, from pizza, to pasta, to bakes. It’s what I use when I make my Chicken Parm Casserole with Gluten-Free Croutons, instead of jarred sauce, to cut that sodium count way down.  See my recipe for Chicken Parm Casserole with Gluten-Free Croutons in the most recent issue of Easy Eats. Buon Appetito!

Easy Chunky Marinara

(Makes 4 cups)

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 medium cloves garlic, pressed, or minced fine (1 Tablespoon)
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
½ cup chopped basil
Pinch of salt
Freshly ground pepper


Combine EVOO, garlic, and red pepper in a heavy pot over medium high heat.  Cook 2 minutes, stirring often until garlic is aromatic. Add tomatoes, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer over medium low heat, and cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until slightly thickened. Remove from heat, stir in basil, a pinch of salt, and a few turns of freshly ground pepper.  Let cool to room temperature.  Store tightly covered in fridge. Will last well for 2 weeks.

Easy Chunky Marinara © 2012 by Cybele Pascal

Please note that all my recipes are completely free of all top allergens (wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, fish, shellfish, and gluten), so as many people as possible can enjoy them. Additionally, all the ingredients are available at Whole Foods, and online at Amazon.com. If you have trouble finding something, let me know and I’ll help you find it.

SAFETY NOTE: Because each person’s food sensitivity and reaction is unique, ranging from mild intolerance to life-threatening and severe food allergies, it is up to the consumer to monitor ingredients and manufacturing conditions. If manufacturing conditions, potential cross contact between foods, and ingredient derivatives pose a risk for you, please re-read all food labels and call the manufacturer to confirm potential allergen concerns before consumption. Ingredients and manufacturing practices can change overnight and without warning.

Allergy Free Hollandaise Sauce



With asparagus season in full swing and artichoke season rolling in, I figured it was the perfect time to roll out a safe allergy-free hollandaise sauce.

Hollandaise is traditionally made with eggs, one of the top eight food allergens. To replace eggs, vegan versions of the classic sauce usually rely on silken tofu. However, soy (silken tofu) is also one of the top eight food allergens. So I had to put on my thinking cap.

I replaced the eggs and/or silken tofu with a rice milk and olive and canola oil emulsion and added a smidgen of turmeric and a little nutritional yeast for the lovely buttercup hue, and also a flavor boost. And, of course, I used lemon juice, since that zip of acidity is the backbone of all hollandaise sauces.

Bonus: this one is vegan, too, so there’s no salmonella risk. Additionally, unlike traditional hollandaise, it can be made in advance, and keeps well for several days, covered in the fridge. Just bring to room temperature before serving.

Remember when you make this, slow and steady wins the race. Add the oil a little at a time to achieve the creamiest end result. (more…)