Friday, January 22, 2010

Marinara Sauce

I stalk the blog Eating, Etc.; I can't help it!  Last night, I made the marinara sauce she had recently posted, and it was very good!  I didn't have any celery, so I left that out.  I also didn't use the full half-cup of olive oil.  I think you can play around with the type of tomatoes you use here.  For instance, Eating, Etc. used home-canned tomatoes (no, I'm not jealous!), but I used some canned ones, along with a little over 1 cup of leftover Muir Glen Pizza sauce I had in my fridge.  It turned out swell!  See, you can use almost anything.  Since I used some pizza sauce, my marinara wasn't super-chunky, so I didn't have to blend it up.  I served this with multigrain spaghetti, peas, and Eating, Etc's Turkey-Ricotta Meatballs.  This was a meal the whole family enjoyed.  And, I was able to freeze two jars of leftover pasta sauce after we finished dinner.  Can't wait to use that in another dish, like this Cheesy Tortellini

Homemade Marinara Sauce
Makes 2 quarts
adapted from Giada at The Food Network, via Eating, Etc.

1/2c extra-virgin olive oil
2 small onions, finely chopped
2 fresh garlic cloves, minced
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
sea salt, to taste
1/2tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 quarts canned tomatoes, crushed
2 dried bay leaves
1T Italian seasoning

1) In a 4-quart (or larger) saucepan, sauté onions & garlic in olive oil over medium-high heat until onions are translucent (about 10 minutes).

2) Add celery, carrots, salt & pepper and sauté until vegetables are soft (about 10 minutes).

3) Add tomatoes, bay leaves, & Italian seasoning. Simmer, uncovered, over low heat until sauce thickens (1-2 hours).  Stir a couple of times.

4) Remove & discard bay leaves. Adjust seasonings to taste.

5) Run through food processor for a smoother sauce, if desired.

6) Serve over pasta, and/or cool & refrigerate or freeze.

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