As I have unintentionally - at least, at first - have embarked on a more natural, real food diet for my family and I, there is one thing for certain I don't think I could ever buy store bought again. And that, my friends, is Marinara sauce! I do buy canned tomato's to make marinara with, but never again will I be buying processed marinara. You know what I am talking about. Prego or Ragu or whatever. Not only is the taste non-existent, but have you seen the ingredient label? And besides, convenience is a non-issue too when homemade marinara is SO easy!
On most days, I used canned tomato's and my other 'secret' ingredients, but now that I have an abundance of Roma's thanks to a co-worker, and not enough time to can them all, thanks to a harvesting orchard [!], I have been trying to ferociously use up as many as I can before they go bad. (We REALLY need to get a deep chest freezer!)
This really is so simple I can't imagine I am actually calling it a recipe, but it was SO good that I am counting down the minutes until I can eat the leftovers for lunch today! I didn't get any photos since I hadn't originally intended to blog about it, but the more I think about it, the more I think I must share. Especially for those still reaching for the Ragu - please, TRY THIS!
Here is how I did it with the fresh Roma's.
Approx. 15 Roma tomato's
One 8oz can of 'natural' tomato sauce - in other words, just plain old canned tomato sauce. Nothing with corn syrup and all that other garbage.
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
4 or 5 garlic cloves, diced
1 shallot, diced
Tsp or so I dried oregano (or fresh if you have it - use enough to suit your taste)
Capers - I used about 2 Tbsp - we love capers :)
Sugar, Salt and Pepper
Bring a pot of water to boil - Score the bottom side of your Roma's - plop 6 or so at a time in the boiling pot for 1-2 minutes. Then, dunk them in cold water, peel off the skins and removed any other 'unappeasing' parts. Once you have done this with all your Roma's, put them in a bowl and crush them with your hands!
Place your Oil and Butter in a pot on the stove and warm it over med-high heat. Once hot, place your diced garlic and shallots in and saute for a minute or two. Then, throw in your hand crushed Roma's. Pour in your can of tomato sauce. Add sugar, salt, pepper and oregano to taste. I think I used about 1 tsp salt, 1 tbsp sugar and probably 1 tbsp cracked black pepper. Bring to a boil, allow to boil for a minute or two, then take it down to a simmer for AT LEAST an hour. Stir occassionally. Add your sundried's at this time too if you have them. They will break down as your sauce simmers, so long as you are allowing a decent simmering time - remember, at least an hour. And, add your capers if you choose to use them.
I served over Spaghetti noddles with some fresh Parm. It was FANTASTIC!! If you are a store canned marinara user, TRY THIS soon and let me know how you liked it!!
The beauty of this is you can adjust to whatever you like. Fresh basil would have been fantastic in this. And, if you have a teething baby by you side while you do this, they LOVE to teeth on a chunk of fresh parmesan cheese - just sayin'!
Do you make your own homemade marinara? What's your method?