April 27, 2012

Italian Marinara sauce

I learned how to make basic marinara sauce the other day.
It was much more simple and different than I would of thought.
To be honest, I didn't really give it that much thought until I saw it being made.

When I make spaghetti sauce, I usually start with dicing onions and sauteing them
while adding diced peppers, celery, mushrooms etc... thinking the more veggies the healthier right?

While adding more veggies is way healthier of course...
when it comes to basic marinara sauce- it is quite the opposite.

You start off with a can of tomatoes, it can be stewed whole tomatoes, diced or crushed like
the ones I used. You still want to add your onion, carrots and celery but you don't actually 
dice or chop them up. Wash and just cut them in half so they fit in your pot.
One onion, 2 carrots and 2-3 celery stalks.

Throw the veggies into your pot whole...  (technically cut in half) along with the can of tomatoes,
a bay leaf or 2, a sprinkle of black pepper and some whole or smashed garlic. I decided to go with 3.


Let the sauce have a boiling party for about 30 minutes. Once the sauce has bubbled,
take the veggies out with a tong or wooden spoon.  That's pretty much it!
Carrots are a sweet vegetable and onions are typically on the sweet side
as well so they really help take out the acidity from the tomatoes.
If you taste the sauce in the first 10 minutes or so and then taste it again
after 30 or more minutes- You will certainly taste the difference in the
slight tartness and it becoming less acidic.

I took some shredded cheese I had in the frig  and mixed it with the linguine that
I pre-boiled and set aside.
Mixing the cheese with the pasta allows the sauce to stick better and mix better if you are
tossing the sauce with the pasta rather than just adding the sauce on top of your chosen pasta.

Voila! Linguine with home-made marinara sauce.  (Those are chicken sausages with spinach
and mozzarella.)  I like to rip up basil leaves with anything tomato and on the bottom right is just
potato bread fried in a pan with a little butter, then sliced into long strips.