This is one of the first things I learned to cook on my own. It is very simple and has a wonderful flavor!
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes (or equivalent fresh)
3-5 cloves garlic (chopped finely)
Olive oil (about 1/4 cup, enough to cover bottom of saucepan)
Salt & pepper
1. Cover bottom of medium saucepan with olive oil and cook garlic over medium to medium-low heat until slightly browned (strong garlic smell). Be careful not to overcook, as that can happen fast.
2. When the garlic looks lightly browned, remove from heat to cool a minute or two (to avoid splatter) and then add the can of crushed tomatoes. Swish the can with water to remove remaining tomato sauce (about 1/3 can of water) and add that to the saucepan too.
3. Bring to boil, season with salt, pepper, oregano, and basil to taste, lower heat, and simmer about 15-20 minutes.
This is about 5-10 minutes hands on. This makes enough for a pound of macaroni.
This marinara sauce is basically the way my grandma makes it; however, she adds a small can (6-oz.) of tomato paste along with a half can of hot water (swished around), but I generally make it without this extra step. However, if you would prefer a thicker sauce, you might like to add the paste. Nowadays I buy the Bionaturae brand of tomato paste because it comes in jars.