Monday, September 30, 2013

Fresh Marinara Sauce


Marinara SauceWe always had a garden growing up so my Italian mom and German grandmother spent the end of summer days canning all sorts of vegetables, including tomatoes or tomato sauces.

Later on when large freezers became available to homemakers, mom would blanch and freeze her garden harvest.  
I'm a freezer gal myself, so lately I've been making batches of marinara sauce and freezing in one cup and  pint containers or bags.

I blanch and freeze other homegrown produce or bargains purchased from the farmers market. 
This recipe is close to what my mom made.  I added basil and tomato paste for a deeper taste and because these items are much more economical and readily available than years ago.

Mom always added a splash of lemon juice and tablespoon or two of sugar to her tomato sauce, saying it cuts down on an acid taste and makes the sauce sweeter.  
Marinara sauce can be used on any pasta or on pizza, and served with meatballs or sausage for a classic Italian type dinner.
Marinara Sauce

Fresh Marinara Sauce
2  pounds fresh ripe, red tomatoes, sliced or quartered (I leave peels on)* 
2 Tabs. olive oil
4 - 5 cloves minced garlic
1 cup diced onion
1 diced celery rib with leaves
1/2 cup diced carrot  (optional)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
2 Tabs lemon juice
1 Tab. sugar
2 Tabs. tomato paste
*Note: if not using fresh tomatoes, use canned tomatoes.
Makes 1 quart of sauce

Marinara SauceIn a large pot, saute garlic, onion, celery, carrots in olive oil for a few minutes.

Add tomatoes, parsley, basil, salt and pepper, lemon juice sugar and tomato paste, stir to blend.  Simmer mixture for about 20-30 minutes or until all ingredients are soft and cooked down. 


For a coarse sauce mash and blend, but for a smoother sauce, puree in a food processor or blend with a soup/sauce immersion wand.


To serve, put some sauce on a large platter, add cooked pasta, sprinkle Parmesan generously, cover with more sauce, then add cooked meat balls or sausage and more cheese, and sauce.

Estimate cost of one quart with homegrown tomatoes: $1.00 or less.