This week’s CHEF of the Month is Giada De Laurentiis.  I haven’t made a lot of her dishes but the ones I have tried are delicious.  Since I was going to a party and needed a ‘finger food’ I tried her marinara sauce to go with my mini meatballs.  Good Idea!!


    • 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, plus more to taste
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
    • 2 (32 ounces each) cans crushed tomatoes
    • 2 dried bay leaves
    • 2 cups basil, chopped
    •  I added 1 heaping tsp Italian Seasoning

In a large casserole pot, heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the celery, carrots, and ½ teaspoon of each salt and pepper. Sauté until all the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bay leaves, and simmer uncovered over low heat until the sauce thickens, about 1 hour. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Stir in the chopped basil. Season the sauce with more salt and pepper to taste. Total cooking time: 1 hour and 20 minutes

I loved the chunkiness of this marinara.  The little pieces of carrot and celery just added to the wonderful texture.  This was a definite winner. EVERYONE asked for the recipe.  Thanks, Giada.

Original Recipe 

For more dishes from Giada visit  I Heart Cooking Clubs.