Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Basic Marinara Sauce

This looks like just the way I want to make a marinara sauce for the Eggplant Parmesan I'm going to serve at our Oscar Night get together. I was going to make the one I use for Mussels Marinara but then decided to look for something a little different and this one is just what I want. Only a little olive oil, I can substitute 2 (28 oz) cans of tomatoes, although I will used the diced with basil etc seasonings that I have and onions and garlic. Easier to find one already tested than to play around when I don't have any time.

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Basic Marinara Sauce
2 large yellow onions, peeled and diced
2 Tbsp olive oil
5-6 cloves of garlic, minced (about 2 Tbsp)
2 Tbsp dried herbs (basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, etc)* 1/2 cup red wine
12 cups peeled and seeded fresh ripe tomatoes** salt and pepper to taste

In a large soup pot, heat up the olive oil. Add the onions and cook slowly, on medium heat until they start to caramelize. They should be evenly brown and soft. Cooking them this way brings out the natural sweetness in the onions. Add the garlic and dried herbs and cook for 5 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the 1/2 cup of red wine and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the tomatoes and their juice and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook on low, stirring occasionally for about 2 hours. Add salt and pepper to taste.
*Dried herbs hold their flavor much longer than fresh herbs so when slow cooking. If you want to use fresh herbs, add them at then end of the cooking process, just before serving.
**If you don't have fresh tomatoes, you can use 2 (28 oz) cans of crushed tomatoes, 1 (28 oz) can of whole tomatoes and 1 (6 oz) can of tomato paste. When I use canned tomatoes, I always add a couple tablespoons of sugar to counteract the acidity of the canned tomatoes. I find I don't have to add any sugar with the ripe tomatoes from my garden.
This is really a base pasta sauce recipe, meant to adapt to whatever you want it to be. Like meat in your sauce? Add a tough cut and let it cook down to make a Bolognese. Want to keep it vegetarian? Enjoy the recipe as it is or add some diced up vegetables. Like Pasta alla Norma? Add red chili flakes and diced eggplant to the sauce. Mushrooms or meatballs, it's all up to you.

Copyright 2009

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