Basic Marinara Sauce (feeds 4-6 people comfortably)
I came up with this recipe one day when I was really craving some pasta and didn’t have enough fresh tomatoes to make sauce. In the past, whenever I made marinara sauce, I stuck with either all fresh tomatoes or all canned. I never mixed. Who knew.
Extra virgin olive oil
5 regular sized tomatoes
a 32-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of dried basil
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Cut tomatoes into cubes. The smaller, the faster they will cook and the less chunky your sauce will be..i.e. if you like chunky marinara sauce, cut tomatoes into half inch cubes. Mince the garlic and dice the onion the same size as the tomatoes. Consistency is key.
2. In a pot over medium heat, drizzle some extra virgin olive oil and add the minced garlic. Once you can smell the garlic, add the diced onion. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent.If they start to brown, turn the heat down.
3. Once the onions are soft, add in the fresh tomatoes. At this point, its okay to turn the heat up a little more. Add about 2 teaspoons of salt. This will not only help the tomatoes break down faster, it will also provide flavor. Once the tomatoes are cooked and broken down, after around 5 or 6 minutes, add in the can of crushed tomatoes.
4. Mix the sauce well and add in the dried herbs. Stir well and cover the pot and turn the heat up to high. Once the sauce has boiled, turn the heat down to medium-low and let the sauce cook uncovered for another 5-10 minutes. Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve over pasta and enjoy!
PS: This sauce is really nice because it’s a complete canvas for you to add whatever you have or want. Bolognese? Add ground meat right after the garlic and onions start to sweat a little. Have some bell peppers/any vegetable in your fridge? Dice them up and saute them after the onions! Remember to keep them cut similar sizes so they’ll cook evenly. If you like your veggies crispy, add it after the tomatoes instead. Vodka sauce? Add a shot of vodka before adding the tomatoes and make sure the alcohol has cooked off a little. Then add the tomatoes and let them cook down. Add a little bit of heavy cream after the sauce has come to a boil and turn down the heat to let it simmer. The possibilities are endless.
Have fun and tell me your thoughts!