Jan 31, 2011

Simple Marinara Sauce

Marinara Sauce

I whipped up some marinara sauce for a dinner with friends we had last weekend. It was then that I noticed my marinara sauce was missing from my blog! Well, missing… I simply never posted it. Shame on me. I’m a sad excuse for a food blogger.

I always make my sauce from scratch. It’s hardly any work, you get to add vegetables that influence the flavor, plus you don’t have that foul chemical aftertaste that comes with store-bought marinara sauce. I mainly use dried herbs because often I’ll cook this after I put my son to bed. Spur of the moment thing. I’m all for late-night cooking when the house is all quiet. But don’t let that keep you from using fresh herbs!

I don’t like a chunky marinara sauce, so I puree mine. Aside from that, the sky is the limit. Whenever I can get my hands on San Marzano tomatoes, I’ll use those. Sometimes I add a splash of red wine; it intensifies the flavor. I play with different herbs, or add some anchovy fillet. Replacing the white sugar with brown sugar also works really well.

When it comes to homemade marinara sauce, anything goes. Here’s my basic recipe.



Ingredients:

3 tbsp olive oil
1 medium carrot
1 celery stalk
1 large garlic clove
1 medium onion
1/4 red bell pepper
2 14oz cans diced tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
11/2 tsp sugar (or brown sugar)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
2 bay leaves

Optional: basil oil



Directions:

I always add vegetables to my sauces. I just miss lots of flavor in a pure tomato sauce.
Marinara Sauce

Peel the carrot and cut everything in coarse pieces.
Marinara Sauce

Transfer it to a food processor (or chop it by hand). Grate the garlic over the bowl because you don’t want someone biting down on a big hunk of garlic. It’s nasty, really.
Marinara Sauce

Blitz a couple of times. And there we are, the perfect veggie base for a sauce.
Marinara Sauce

Heat the oil and sauté the vegetables over low heat for 10 minutes.
Marinara Sauce

Add the tomato puree and cook for a minute to sweeten it up.
Marinara Sauce

Pour in the diced tomatoes, these were pomodori. My marinara sauce is usually very thick, if you like a thinner sauce add another can of diced tomatoes.
Marinara Sauce

In goes the sugar, salt, pepper, nutmeg and herbs. You can add brown sugar as well, it tastes great.
Marinara Sauce

Give everything a good stir and bring it to a boil.
Marinara Sauce

Add the bay leaves. Simmer the sauce, over low heat, for 45 to 60 minutes.
Marinara Sauce

Here’s my secret ingredients. After roughly 20 minutes I add 2 tbsp basil oil. If the sauce gets too thick during cooking, add water.
Marinara Sauce

After 45 to 60 minutes it’s a wonderfully thick, fragrant sauce. Discard the bay leaves.
Marinara Sauce

This is fully optional and it will change the structure and color of the sauce, mind you. I use my immersion blender to puree the sauce a little. Check the seasoning.
Marinara Sauce

I especially like pasta with a simple marinara sauce, some grated Parmigiano and a little extra basil oil drizzled on top. Garlic bread on the side. Yum.
Marinara Sauce

What’s your secret sauce ingredient?

Simple Marinara Sauce
Ingredients
    3 tbsp olive oil
    1 medium carrot
    1 celery stalk
    1 large garlic clove
    1 medium onion
    1/4 red bell pepper
    2 14oz cans diced tomatoes
    2 tbsp tomato paste
    11/2 tsp sugar (or brown sugar)
    1 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp black pepper
    1 tbsp dried basil
    1 tbsp dried parsley
    1 tsp dried oregano
    1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
    2 bay leaves

    Optional: basil oil
Directions
    Peel the carrot and cut the vegetables in coarse pieces before adding it to the food processor bowl. Grate the garlic over the bowl and blitz a few times.

    Heat the oil and sauté the vegetables over low heat for 10 minutes. Add the tomato puree and cook for a minute to sweeten it up. Pour in the diced tomatoes, these were pomodori. My marinara sauce is usually very thick, if you like a thinner sauce add another can of diced tomatoes.

    Add the seasonings and herbs and bring the sauce to a boil. Add the bay leaves. Simmer the sauce, over low heat, for 45 to 60 minutes. After roughly 20 minutes I add 2 tbsp basil oil but this is optional. If the sauce gets too thick during cooking, add water.

    Once the sauce is done you discard the bay leaves and use it as is or puree it using an immersion blender. Check the seasoning.
Meal type: sauces
Servings: 4
Copyright: © kayotickitchen.com
Oct 25, 2010

Tyler`s Ultimate Lasagna

The moment I laid eyes on Tyler Florence’ lasagna recipe on Food Network—after I managed to drag my eyes off of his fine-looking ehh, well, everything—I just knew this indeed had the potential of being the ultimate lasagna recipe. Why? Well, the first thing I noticed was his Bolognese sauce: it’s spiked with different vegetables (and fresh herbs) that I was sure would flavor the sauce like no one’s business….