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March 24, 2009

My Classic Marinara Recipe

I am sure most of you are asking, “Why would I waste time making marinara sauce when I can by a perfectly good jar of it in a store?” Well, I find that making something on your own is rewarding and just tastes better. Also, home-made marinara is healthier because it doesn’t have all those preservatives which can greatly increase the sodium content.

This sauce is super versatile and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to ten days in a plastic or glass jar. Even though this involves quite a few steps and requires some time, it is SO worth it!

My recipe calls for:

2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil

1 medium white onion

2 cloves of garlic

1 medium carrot

1 stalk of celery

½ tsp. salt

½ ground black pepper

1 12 ounce can of diced tomatoes

2 8 ounce cans of tomato sauce

½ tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. white sugar

1 bay leaf (If you don’t have a bay leaf, it’s okay to leave it out. It adds a nice woodsy flavor and makes for good depth, but the sauce will certainly survive without it.)

1 tbs. finely chopped parsley or basil

Procedure: Dice the onion, garlic, carrot and celery. Heat up the olive oil in a medium-sized stock pot on medium-low heat. Add the diced vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Sauté (cook slowly until the vegetables soften) for 7-10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, oregano, sugar (brings out the sweetness of the tomatoes) and bay leaf – stir everything together with a wooden spoon. Bring the mixture to a boil and then lower the heat to a very low flame. Cover loosely with a lid, leaving a slight crack to let the steam escape. Simmer the sauce for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

After the 30 minutes is up turn off the flame and remove the lid. Stir once more and let the sauce cool slightly, about five minutes. If you used a bay leaf discard it at this point. Then carefully transfer the sauce into a food processor (with the blade attachment.) Put the lid on WITHOUT THE CHUTE COVER (the steam will need to escape. If the chute is closed, you might be left with a tomato explosion to clean.) Grind the mixture to a desirable consistency. Transfer the mixture back into the pot and stir in the fresh herbs and now you’re done! Enjoy!