Feb 19, 2013

Marinara sauce

Marinara sauce is a staple accessory in my kitchen. If it has marinara sauce on it, my daughter will eat it. Let it be fish, vegetables, meatballs and, her most favorite, pasta penne. Penne rigate (with ridges) works the best. The sauce is not creamy, so it needs some help (ridges) to stay on the pasta instead of on the bottom of your plate. Nothing worse than a watery sauce.

I always have at least two cans of tomatoes in my pantry. I have never used fresh tomatoes to make this sauce but it's probably worth trying when they are in season in August. I wouldn't bother to use some imported winter variety. Same thing with basil. I've only used dried spices for making the sauce. The fresh ones costs too much to end up in a pot. I do use fresh garlic only. And fresh onions.

A good marinara sauce will make any dish taste Italian. 

Recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

time: 30 minutes
makes about 3 - 4 cups


2 small (400g/14 oz) cans whole tomatoes in juice
1 small onions
2 medium garlic cloves
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste


Finely chop onions and garlic. But not too finely.  I used an electric chopper. If you chop too much, the juices will come out. You don't want the juices.

In a medium sauce pan, heat the olive oil on medium/high heat. Add chopped onions and garlic. Lower the heat to medium (4, on a scale from 1 to 10 on my induction stove top). Saute for 12 minutes till onions are transparent but not burned. If they are browning too fast, lower the heat. Onions need time to cook.

Meanwhile, using the same electric device, puree tomatoes with their juices and a teaspoon of basil till almost smooth. 

When onions/garlic are ready, add tomatoes/basil to the saucepan. Add oregano and sugar. Cook everything on medium heat for another 10 minutes. At the end, add salt and pepper. 

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