A few weeks ago, I made homemade marinara sauce for the first time ever. I absolutely love it! When I buy pasta sauce in the store, I prefer the Classico brand; I just think it tastes the best. I am so pleased to say that this recipe tastes very much like the Classico kind I pay nearly $3 for a jar. For $3, I made four jars worth!
- I purchased a giant can of good-quality crushed tomatoes from Sam's Club. It was about $2.70.
- I coarsely chopped about 1 cup of onion.
- I minced a lot of garlic (the recipe calls for 4 T.; I think I used somewhere in the ballpark of 8 cloves)
- Saute the onion and garlic in a lot of olive oil (the recipe calls for 3/4 c. but I used only enough to coat the bottom of the pan) in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat until the onion is softened.
- Add the tomatoes (be careful, they'll splatter!), 2 teaspoons salt (I used coarse salt), 1 tsp. pepper, and 1 T. oregano and 1 T. basil (If using fresh herbs, use 1/4 c. fresh oregano and 1/3 c. basil).
- Simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes or until very thick.
- You can puree the mixture (working in batches) in a food processor or blender, and then return it to the saucepan, adding fresh herbs (if using them) and 1/2 tsp. additional salt. Continue to simmer, partially covered, for another 30 minutes or until as thick as you like. (I did not put mine in the blender; I prefer sauce a bit thicker).
- Once I simmered it until my desired consistency (about an hour, I think), I poured it in empty spaghetti sauce jars I have been saving, leaving a few inches for the sauce to expand. I let the jars cool slightly and then put them in the freezer.
- Next time I need pasta sauce, no more will I have to add it to the grocery list or watch for sales! I can just pull a jar out of my freezer, allow it to thaw (or thaw quickly by placing the jar in boiling water for a bit) and voila!
This week, I'll be featuring some other great recipes from the book, Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys. I absolutely love this book! So much more than just another cookbook--more like an excellent tutorial on feeding hungry boys and men. And here's the good news for you: I will be giving away a copy, courtesy of Artisan Press.
But before we get to that, what kitchen shortcuts are you celebrating that you can share with us for our once-a-month cooking festival? I'd love for you to link up a post you've written (past or present), or share in the comments section.
May your week start out with lots of mercy and grace!