From My Kitchen: Homemade Marinara

My uncle lives on an old dairy farm about 20 minutes away, and we spent some time out there this weekend. The garden is AMAZING. Well, actually, the tomatoes were AMAZING. And I decided to do something about it.

Marinara Sauce Cover Photo

I have a life list- it is ever evolving, but one of the things on my list is to master my marinara sauce. I have not quite done this yet, but I have managed a pretty good start. Read on if you would like to know how I did it…

First, I blanched the tomatoes. To do this, I placed the tomatoes in a pot of boiling water for 30 seconds, and then placed them in an ice bath immediately after.

Ice bath

 

As I was doing this, I peeled the finished ones, and then cored them.

Prepped tomatoes

Once they were all prepped, I mashed them in a large pot, and divided them into 32 oz batches.

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Can you see that mess of red surrounding the containers? YEP! I pretty much painted my kitchen red in the process. Once my tomatoes were prepped, I heated the olive oil, onion and garlic and sautéed for about 15 minutes. I think it is sooo important to use quality ingredients when doing something from scratch like this. The tomatoes used were from my uncle’s garden, and the olive oil is California Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Tiber Canyon Ranch, here locally. ALWAYS use fresh garlic, although the jarred minced garlic is good in a pinch, nothing like fresh garlic.

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I then added the tomatoes, along with salt & pepper and bay leaves. The recipe below also calls for celery and carrots, and although I would definitely use them next time, I didn’t have them on hand this go round, and our harvest box doesn’t come until Thursday. I then simmered for a GOOD 2 hours (also not on the recipe). This is when my sauce kinda went flat… or to the left… or right, but it just wasn’t there.

INSERT HUSBAND: I took a nap (I love my naps). And asked him to “doctor” it up. He added more pepper, some italian seasonings, some sugar and some red wine, and BAM! amazing.

Here is the recipe that I adapted from: Giada’s Marinara Sauce

Things to do different:

1) remove excess water and seeds from tomatoes before crushing and SQUEEZE them dry.

2) sauté fresh herbs with the garlic and onion and add wine to the mix.

3) add an herb bouquet to the sauce while cooking that can be removed to add more flavor.

4) add the vegetables after sautéing onion mixture.

5) be prepared to can instead of freezing the sauce

This is just round 1. As soon as we use all of this, I will be trying again, maybe in spring, maybe next fall.

 

 

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