Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Spicy Marinara

Every cook should have their own marinara sauce. I use jarred on occasion when I don't have any of my own in the freezer, but as a general rule, I make mine. We like a non-acidic, slightly spicy, garlicky marinara. I made some this weekend and wrote along my ingredients as I went so that I could share with you.

Jeni's Spicy Marinara
Makes about 40 ounces (12 or so servings)

35 oz can San Marzano (or other italian whole peeled or crushed tomatoes)
6 oz can tomato paste
5 oz chopped button or crimini mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped roasted red pepper
1 chopped large onion
5 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary (2 sprigs)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 bay leaf
2 tsp crushed dried basil
1/2 tsp crushed dried oregano
3 tsp salt
1 tsp crushed red pepper
2 tsp sugar

Heat oil in a large saute pan or pot (3 quart or higher) over medium heat. Add in onions, mushrooms, 1 tsp of the salt, bay leaf and all herbs (not garlic) and saute until onions are translucent.
This looks intense doesn't it? I learned this from an old friend. Adding dried herbs at this stage helps release their flavor and then impart those flavors into the veggies. While the veggies are sauteing, puree the whole tomatoes, along with their juices, in a large bowl with an immersion blender. Or if you don't have one, use a regular blender or food processor.
Add garlic to the pan, stir well and saute 1 minute more before slowly adding the tomato puree. Add the remaining salt, cover and simmer on low for 30 minutes. Add sugar, tomato paste and water and stir well to smooth out the paste.
Cover and simmer another hour–hour and a half. Uncover and salt to taste (I didn't need any more salt). Serve atop your favorite pasta. I sauteed some leftover grilled chicken breast and spinach, mixed in the sauce and we had it over angel hair. We had this with a light cucumber salad and fresh homemade garlic rosemary bread!

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teg said...

I made a huge batch of rotini mixed with marinara, chicken and spinach this past weekend. (Of course I also covered the whole thing with cheese and then baked it). It was tasty, but I'm sure your extra work made your dish much better!

Jeni said...

Chicken, spinach and marinara are just a winning combo. You covered 4 food groups in one dish! Dairy, protein, grains and veggies – Success!

Pam said...

My kind of marinara! Your pictures look great.

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