Dec 17, 2011

marinara sauce

All of the recipes so far have been my family's or my own creations.  This is the first recipe in honor of my husband's family.  This is based on a recipe his mom's family used to make and continues to make for family celebrations today.  My husband and I have made several changes to it, but the idea is the same.  It's a basic Italian marinara sauce.  It will make your house smell like your old Italian grandpa's house.  I never had an old Italian grandpa, but if I did I'm pretty sure his house would smell like this.  Use your imagination.

The sauce is a little time-consuming to prepare; the actual work takes less than 10 minutes, but then you let it simmer for anywhere from an hour to an afternoon.  But, the best thing about this recipe is that it makes a ton of sauce.  We usually freeze the leftovers and eat it over a month or two, so we don't need to make it often.  Also, you can easily adjust the recipe based on your taste.  My parents (and my husband and I) don't eat much salt, so we leave it out of this recipe.  It's much much cheaper than buying the $5 jars of no salt added marinara sauces.

It's excellent with some Trader Joe's Meatless Meatballs (holy guacamole! I never even liked real meatballs...these are awesome), Morningstar Beef Crumbles, or whatever you might like to add.  The picture above is our "chicken" parmesan.  They're Morningstar Italian Herb Chik Patties with melted mozzarella, whole wheat pasta and this tasty sauce.

Marinara Sauce
Recipe adapted from my mom-in-law's recipe

-1 medium yellow onion
-a few tablespoons of olive oil
-9-10 cloves of garlic
-3 cans (28 oz each) no salt added tomatoes (diced or crushed)
-1 can (6 oz) no salt added tomato paste
-1 tbsp oregano
-1 tbsp basil
-ground black pepper
-salt and sugar to taste (try making it without and add some if necessary)

Start by finely dicing/food processing the onion.  Coat the bottom of a big pot with olive oil and add the onion.  Brown the onion on medium heat.  Dice/food process the garlic and add it to the pot.  Let it cook for just a couple minutes.  Add the tomatoes and tomato paste.  Use any combination of diced or crushed tomatoes, based on how thick (diced) or thin (crushed) you'd like it to be in the end.  Use water to get every last drop of tomato goodness out of the cans and add that to the pot.  Finally, add oregano and basil to the sauce and combine.  Bring the sauce to a boil.  Then turn down the heat to continue to simmer the sauce until use.  Stir it every 10 or 15 minutes as it cooks.  If necessary, add salt or sugar to taste.

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