Easy Marinara Sauce

Hands-on time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 small onions, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 stalks celery, finely chopped

2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes

2 dried bay leaves

Crushed red pepper to taste

2 lbs of ground meat of choice

2 packages of zucchini noodles

1 tbsp of butter

1 tbsp of EVOO

Prepare the sauce

First, process the celery and carrots in a food processor to chop finely and set aside in a bowl.

In a large pot, heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Add the onions and garlic and saute until the onions are translucent, about 6 to 7 minutes.

Add the celery, carrots, and 1/2 teaspoon of each salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, crushed red pepper and bay leaves, and simmer uncovered over low heat until the sauce thickens, about 1 hour. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Season the sauce with more salt and pepper, to taste. The sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, then cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium heat before using. Can also be frozen for up to 6 months.

Prepare the meat

In a large skillet, heat over medium high heat and brown the meat of choice until completely cooked.

Side note:  You can add any ground meat (grass fed beef, ground chicken, ground turkey, Italian sausage) to the marinara sauce and serve over gluten free pasta.

Prepare the noodles

In a separate pan, heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat and add the zucchini noodles.  Toss in the butter and oil for about 2 to 3 minutes and then plate. Top with meat sauce.