Grains Marinara
Grains Marinara

Photo Credit

Quentin Bacon

This Recipe

  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Serves: 4
  • Start to Finish: 10 to 20 minutes

This recipe makes a strong case for why you should always have cooked grains in your refrigerator: It’s unbelievably good, and you’ll find yourself returning to it constantly as a springboard for quick one-skillet lunches. You decide if you want the tomatoes almost raw, coddled, or saucy. It scales down for one or two servings quite easily.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds Roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 cups any cooked grain, like brown rice, bulgur quinoa, farro, wheat berries, or oat groats
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, for garnish



1. Place olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add onion and garlic, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables soften a bit, 2 or 3 minutes.
2. Add tomatoes, and once they start to cook, stir frequently until they reach desired doneness: 2 or 3 minutes for just warm, 3 to 5 minutes for tender but intact, and up to 10 minutes for them to break down and make a sauce.
3. Add grain, stirring and breaking it up with back of a spoon or a fork until evenly distributed and heated through. Taste and adjust seasoning and serve, garnished with basil.

Recipe adapted with permission from The VB6 Cookbook by Mark Bittman

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