Monday, July 18, 2011

Garden Fresh Marinara Sauce

My husband and children LOVE pasta. Seriously, they would eat it every day if I let them. I knew that I was going to can some fresh tomatoes over the weekend and that I would have some "leftovers." For those of you who've never canned before (and I highly suggest that you try it some time) one canner load is 7 quarts, so I canned 7 quarts of tomatoes and had about 2 quarts left over. I didn't feel like running another batch for that little amount so when I meal planned for this week, I included some sort of pasta dish with a red sauce.

While theoretically all the ingredients except the wine, olive oil, salt and pepper could have come from my garden, they didn't. That's only because they're not ready yet. I do have all of the ingredients planted and am anxiously awaiting their arrival.

Here's what you need. Tomatoes, onion, garlic, bell pepper (optional) red wine, olive oil, Italian Seasoning, and some salt and black pepper.

First thing..... chop some onion. I used 2 small yellow onions. You could use 1 large one. You could also use red onion. It all depends on what you like.

Add a little olive oil to your pot.

Toss in those onions.

When they're translucent and shiny like this.....

Toss in your minced garlic.

Right about now your kitchen is going to smell fantastic. So fantastic that your husband is going to come in from the garage and ask for dinner now. It doesn't matter that 10 minutes ago he finished lunch.

Now toss in your chopped bell pepper. I used a red pepper but that's because that's what I had. Feel free to use any color you want, or leave it out if you don't like the flavor of bell peppers.
Grab yourself a cup of red wine. I used a Pinot Noir, again because that's what I had on hand. Now, go ahead and have a glass of wine for yourself. I don't care that it's 11am. Cooking while enjoying a glass of wine is such a pleasure. LOL!

When your pot of yum looks like this.....

pour in the wine and deglaze the pot.
Make sure that you scrape the little bits of onion/garlic/pepper that may have stuck to the bottom of the pot.

Now add your tomatoes. These are actually fresh tomatoes that I blanched and peeled and cut in quarters. That's just part of the canning process. Had I just picked them from my garden, I would have left the skin on.

Add 1 Tbl Italian Seasonings.

and some salt and fresh ground pepper. I forgot to take a picture of the salt, just use your imagination. he he he Let it simmer uncovered for about 2 hours. I don't cover it so some of the water in the tomatoes can evaporate and the sauce will thicken.

At this point you can use an immersion blender (or a regular one) to blend out the chunks, unless you want a chunky sauce then don't do that. My guys prefer a smoother sauce so I blend.

Voila! Your lovely garden fresh sauce is ready. You can adjust the seasonings to your taste. I like to start with a "small" amount of salt and then add more at the end if needed. I did wind up adding a pinch more salt.

At this point you can do many different things with it. Later this week we're going to have Eggplant Parmesan and Spaghetti with Meatballs.

1 comment:

Mary said...

Immersion blender? Ok, eventually you're gonna have to do a post on "kitchen tools"! ;)