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Friday, February 16, 2018

Marinara Sauce

Marinara Sauce - Adapted from The Complete Book of Pasta by Jack Denton Scott

This has been my “standard” house marinara sauce for many years and can be used as the basis for other sauces.  By the way, despite the name, which means roughly “sailor sauce,” this recipe has nothing particularly nautical about it..  

2 Tb olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 small carrots, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
Freshly ground pepper and salt, to taste
2  28-oz cans of imported peeled Italian tomatoes* (San Marzano variety, if possible)
3 Tb butter
1/2 tsp dried hot pepper, ground fine (optional)

I generally use the Cuisinart to chop the onions and carrots together but mince the garlic separately.  Then, sauté the onions, carrots, and garlic in the olive oil until the onions and carrots are soft. 

*Add the tomatoes, roughly chopping them or breaking them up with your hands, reserving the juice from the cans. Add the salt and pepper, and simmer uncovered over low heat – stirring occasionally – until most of the liquid boils off and the mixture gets somewhat thick. (Scott says 20 minutes, but I usually take at least 30.)  If you go too far and the sauce gets too thick, use the reserved tomato juice to thin it – it’s a matter of judgment and preference. 

In order to end up with a smooth sauce, push the sauce through a food mill into a separate sauce pan, where you had the butter melting with the hot pepper. (I use a Foley Mill to puree the sauce, and it should emerge somewhat “velvety.” It takes a lot of reiterated “back and forth” to completely separate out the seeds and solids, so don’t give up early.) Stirring often, cook another 15 minutes or so over low heat – more if the sauce needs further reduction to the right consistency. (Again, that’s a matter of judgment, as is the amount of garlic and hot pepper you include.) Makes about 7 cups and doubles well. It will keep at least a week if refrigerated and freezes well also.  

Buon appetito!        

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