Tuesday, October 11, 2011

.marinara sauce...drop the jar.

even since my days of playgrounds and barbies, italian food has been my favorite. we ordered pizza for every birthday of mine back then and these days, i usually choose an italian restaurant to celebrate. the first 'adult' meal i probably ever made was your basic spaghetti.

these days, i still make italian food a lot and even get creative with the cheeses, pastas, layers in the lasagna and special ingredients. however, i'm going to admit that i have never stepped away from jar sauce. until now. jar sauce is delicious and convenient, but it isn't homemade and i'm making efforts to be more creative in the kitchen. although it took a little more time and effort, making marinara sauce from scratch wasn't difficult and was well worth it. let me show you.

to form a base of flavors, begin with some go-to aromatic ingredients: fresh onion and garlic. get those two simmering on the stovetop and your home will shortly begin to smell like something good is going down.

pour in some red wine without being too heavy handed. if you accidentally slip and have some spill in your mouth, don't blame me.

next, you should add some tomatoes. listen, without tomatoes, you wouldn't exactly have a marinara sauce, now would you? i used what i had in my pantry; which was one large can of crushed tomatoes and one small can of fire roasted diced tomatoes. i'm sure you could you use any combination of canned tomatoes you'd like and it would turn out just fine.

to sweeten out some of the acidity in the sauce, add about a 1/4 cup of sugar.

from there, bring your two cooking sidekicks to the party- salt n pepa- shoop shoop ba-doop
shoop ba-doop. sorry, not that salt n pepa.

the white and black granulated stuff-this salt and pepper.

to really make your homemade marinara something special, add something special. that was profound. my something special was our homegrown basil. it is quite apparent that i washed it really well because my hands are covered in water. that is not slime as the picture may lead you to believe.

feel free to add any other herbs you see fit and then let some low heat over a couple hours bubble and cook its way through your sauce to create a harmonic blend of ingredients. you'll be singing sweet melodies when you taste this.

i drizzled mine over the pioneer woman's homemade ravioli. i'll be posting on how to make those very soon.

marinara sauce
adapted from the pioneer woman
1 onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, diced
1-1 1/2 cups of red wine
1 large can of crushed tomatoes
1 small can of fire roasted tomatoes
1/4 cup sugar
salt and pepper to taste
fresh basil leaves
additional italian herbs (optional)

here's how
dice your onion and garlic cloves and add to a large pot over low to medium heat. once the onion and garlic begins to soften, add the wine.

allow to simmer over low heat before adding the two cans of tomatoes. continue stirring ingredients together. add the sugar, salt, pepper and herbs to finish out the taste spectrum.

cook over low heat for 1-3 hours. continue to check for taste and tweak as needed.

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