Skinny Spaghetti with a Fabulous Homemade Marinara Sauce

A simple homemade tomato sauce is wonderful to have in your collection of “go-to” recipes.  One of my favorites is marinara sauce.  The secret to a really great-tasting one is to add a little sugar.  Cooked tomatoes can taste a little flat and acidic.  This small amount of sugar adds the perfect amount of sweetness and enhances the flavor.  Either fresh or canned tomatoes work for this recipe.  Check below for tips on using canned tomatoes.  I’m making it skinny by adding just a small amount of olive oil and serving this yummy sauce over fiber-packed whole grain spaghetti.  Each serving has 306 calories, 7 grams of fat and 9 grams of fiber.
Skinny Spaghetti with a Fabulous Homemade Marinara Sauce

Helpful Tips About this Recipe

Serves 6 (about ¾ cup sauce and 1 cup spaghetti for each serving)

Healthy Benefits
Cooked tomatoes provide great health benefits.  They contain lycopene, which has significant antioxidant properties.  The power of lycopene is greatly enhanced with cooked tomatoes.  Lycopene is shown to help prevent certain types of cancer, especially prostate.  Tomatoes also contain beta carotene and vitamin C.

Substitution Tip

This sauce also tastes delicious using canned tomatoes.  Here are a few tips when you substitute canned for fresh: Choose whole, peeled tomatoes.  Stay away from crushed, diced, stewed, or any other more processed forms as they are typically made from lesser quality tomatoes and have a more cooked, tomato-paste-like flavor.  If substituting canned for fresh, one 28-ounce can equal 10 to 12 fresh plum tomatoes, peeled, or about 2 pounds of any variety of tomatoes.

Prep Tips

To peel tomatoes quickly, drop them in a pot of boiling water for about 5-10 seconds.  Use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a large bowl of ice water.  Let stand for 1 minute, remove and peel the skin off.
You can cut canned whole tomatoes right in the can by snipping with a pair of kitchen scissors.
Use a potato masher to easily mash the tomatoes while cooking.

WW Freestyle SmartPoints
WW SmartPoints 9-Green

SKINNY FACTS: for 1 serving (about ¾ cup sauce and 1 cup pasta) w/o cheese
306 calories, 7g fat, 1g sat fat, 0mg chol, 9g protein, 56g carbs, 9g fiber, 541mg sodium, 3g sugar
FACTS: for Freestyle SmartPoints
253 calories, 1g sat. fat, 3g sugar, 7g protein


Skinny Spaghetti with a Fabulous Homemade Marinara Sauce

Skinny Spaghetti with a Fabulous Homemade Marinara Sauce

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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6
Calories 306 kcal


  • 4-5 fresh garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 pounds ripe tomatoes (8 cups) peeled and chopped or 2 (28 oz) cans tomatoes, see prep tips
  • tablespoons sugar
  • teaspoons salt (if using canned tomatoes cut the salt in half)
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 12 ounces whole-grain or whole wheat spaghetti, cooked and drained
  • Fresh grated Parmesan cheese for topping, optional


  • In a large pan, heat olive oil.  Add garlic and sauté until slightly brown.
  • Add peeled and chopped tomatoes.  Stir in sugar, salt, and pepper.  Bring up to a boil over medium heat and boil for 15 minutes.  Stir often.  Turn heat down to medium-low and cook with a soft boil until the tomatoes create a thick sauce, about 50 minutes.  Break up tomatoes and smash while cooking.  If you are using canned tomatoes the cooking time will be about 10-15 minutes less.
  • For each serving, place 1 cup of pasta on a plate or bowl.  Top each with ¾ sauce and 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, if desired. This sauce freezes great.


Serving: 1.75cupCalories: 306kcalCarbohydrates: 56gProtein: 9gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 541mgFiber: 9gSugar: 3gBlue Smart Points: 8Green Smart Points: 9Plus Points: 8
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

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