Monday, January 9, 2012
basic marinara sauce...by candlelight (ooh la la)
We're back to cold, wintry days here after the teasing by that Spring-ish weather. I'm not sure if it was the contrast of those few warm, sunny days with this snowy, cloudy day, but it just felt so dark all day long! So, I lit a few candles while I worked in the kitchen this weekend. My goal was to make a nice big pot of marinara sauce from my dad's shared tomato bounty a few months ago. I didn't have a chance to process all those tomatoes at the time, so they got washed and stored in the freezer until now.
I simply emptied them into a colander, and ran a little warm water over them to defrost them just enough for chopping. Because I run the sauce through the food processor at the end, I don't worry about de-seeding and de-skinning the tomatoes (although some skins do naturally peel off during this process), and don't mind the more blush, rosy colored marinara that leaving the seeds in tends to give.
Here is a rather imprecise, very flexible recipe for my basic marinara
~makes a big pot's worth, around 4 quarts
Approximately 2 colanders full of ripe tomatoes (frozen or fresh), chopped into large chunks
1 large onion, chopped
1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and chopped
Olive oil to coat bottom of pot
Salt, pepper, and sugar to taste
1. On medium, heat olive oil in a big Dutch oven
2. Add onions and garlic, cooking until softened, about 5 minutes
3. Add tomatoes
4. Add salt, pepper, and sugar
5. Simmer at least 30 minutes, taste, and adjust seasoning
6. Blend the whole batch. We like ours to have a bit of texture, so I blend it just enough for it to be thick and still a little chunky.
This is a great base for any kind of red pasta sauce or pizza sauce. More often than not, we eat ours with homemade spaghetti noodles and meatballs, and a side of garlic bread. Simple and classic! (And even more special by candlelight).