Making homemade marinara doesn’t take long and is fairly easy. To me it beats opening a bottle of Ragu and dumbing down your masterpiece. Whether its for your pizza, ravioli or just to dip a few bread sticks, if you have the time, make your own sauce. Don’t get me wrong, there are a few good bottled sauce out there but the sense of accomplishment makes your own sauce taste better.
Marinara sauce originated in Naples, Italy when their neighbors from Spain brought tomatoes back from the new world. I would have never thought the Americas had such an impact on Italian cuisine but if Wikipedia says so…it must be true. If you are going to make your own sauce then make sure you go out and buy some quality tomatoes. I used canned tomatoes for this mission but I do plan to try boiling and peeling fresh ripe tomatoes. As I mentioned in my pizza post, I go to Joseph’s Classic Market for a 32 ounce can of Tuttorosso– Peeled Plum Shaped Tomatoes. Some recipes call for the tomatoes be drained and chopped. I don’t like to do either, I like pouring all of the contents from the can into the pot. As the sauce simmers I use a slotted spoon to help break the tomatoes down. After allowing approx 20 mins of simmering, I use a large spoon to drain some of the liquid out. I like a thicker sauce but this is of course a personal preference, frequently taste the sauce and make adjustments to your liking.
adapted from “The Soprano’s Family Cookbook”
makes approx. 3 cups
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2 lbs very ripe plum tomatoes, peeled and seeded or 32 ounce can Italian tomatoes
6 fresh basil leaves, torn or chopped
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt to taste
In a medium sized saucepan, cook the garlic in olive oil over medium heat for 2-4 minutes. Do not allow the garlic to brown.
Add tomatoes and simmer while using a slotted spoon to crush the tomatoes until sauce has thickened, 20-25 minutes. Stir in basil and parmesan cheese. Salt to taste and serve.