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“Killer” Marinara Sauce (Three Ways)

Lauren.Groveman's picture
This Marinara sauce is one that you would fall in love with. Tomatoes cooked and seasoned with herbs like oregano and basil. It is one that you can make and store for a really long time. It would make for a good base for your pasta dishes and also meat. Whip up a delicious meal in minutes with this sauce made in advance. Special Equipment Large pot, preferably with a built-in strainer (optional), for blanching tomatoes before peeling (only when making the sauce, using fresh tomatoes) Slotted utensil; to aid when peeling tomatoes; only for the fresh tomato sauce 6-quart, heavy-bottomed, non-reactive saucepan with a lid: For the fresh tomato sauce 4-quart, heavy-bottomed, non-reactive saucepan with lid: For the quick variation 3-quart heavy-bottomed, non-reactive saucepan: For the ultra-speedy sauce At-a-Glance Recipe Guide: Cooking muscle required: Two if using fresh tomatoes, one if using canned or embellishing pre-made store-bought Prep time: Fresh tomato sauce: 40 minutes, Using canned tomatoes: 15 minutes, Pre-made sauce: 10 minutes Cooking time: Fresh tomato sauce: 35 minutes, Using canned tomatoes or pre-assembled sauce: 20 minutes Do ahead potential: All sauces can be made two days ahead and kept refrigerated, well covered. All sauces can also be frozen for 6 months.
Ingredients
  Chopped basil 1 Cup (16 tbs) (prepared as needed)
  Crumbled dried oregano 1 Teaspoon
  Canned tomato puree 28 Ounce
  Tomato paste 2 Tablespoon
  Ripe plum tomatoes/Four 28-ounce cans peeled plum tomatoes, drained 5 Pound (Roma)
  Extra virgin olive oil 3 Tablespoon
  Unsalted butter 1 Tablespoon
  Unbleached all purpose flour 2 Tablespoon
  Red pepper flakes 1 Teaspoon
  Garlic 10 Clove (50 gm), minced and divided
Directions

1) To peel and seed your tomatoes: Bring large pot of water to a rapid boil and, working in small batches, put some tomatoes into the water and count to ten. Remove them from the water and place in a large bowl. Use your thumbnail or a small paring knife to remove the stem end and cut the tomato in half through the waist. Squeeze the seeds out and coarsely chop the tomatoes. If using canned tomatoes, use kitchen scissors to snip them in half and gently squeeze out the seeds. Snip them all into smallish irregular pieces.

2) To assemble the sauce and simmer: Heat a 6-quart nonreactive, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat and, when hot, add the olive oil and butter. When the butter is bubbling, stir in the flour. Let it bubble for about 15 seconds, then stir in the red pepper flakes, half the minced garlic, 1/2 cup chopped basil and the oregano. When fragrant (about 15 seconds), stir the chopped tomatoes, puree and tomato paste. When combined, push the cheese rind deep into sauce, if using, and bring the sauce to a brisk simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cook the sauce gently, with the cover ajar, for 35 minutes. Add the remaining garlic, chopped basil and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper.

Here’s a heartier variation of the above:
Use a food processor fitted with the steel blade, to finely chop 1 quartered medium yellow onion, 1 trimmed and sliced stalk of celery, 1 peeled and sliced medium carrot and 5 cloves chopped garlic. Increase the butter to 3 tablespoons and, together with the olive oil, gently sweat these vegetables, directly covered with a piece of greased wax paper for 10 minutes, or until fragrant and starting to soften. Discard the paper and stir in the flour, red pepper flakes and half the basil, as directed in the original recipe. Raise the heat to medium and cook for a minute or so, just to fully incorporate everything. Follow the remaining sauce instructions above.

Quick Marinara Sauce Variation:
By just changing the type of tomatoes, you can have quicker version of marinara sauce that’s still great tasting. Heat a 4-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat and, when hot, add three tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil. When the oil is hot, add half the minced garlic, basil and the red pepper flakes. When fragrant (about 10 seconds), add a 28-ounce can each of tomato puree and crushed tomatoes. Bring to a full simmer through the center, and then add two 28-ounces cans drained canned plum tomatoes, snipped into irregular pieces, using kitchen scissors. Bring back to a full simmer, and then reduce the heat to low and cook the sauce gently for 15 minutes with the cover ajar. Add a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper, the remaining garlic and the last dose of basil and simmer 5 minutes more.

An Ultra-Speedy Version:
When time feels nonexistent, substitute your favorite prepared marinara sauce for all of the tomatoes. Heat a 3-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat and, when hot, add a few tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil. When the oil is hot, add half the minced garlic, basil and the red pepper flakes. When fragrant (about 10 seconds), add about eight cups of your favorite prepared tomato or marinara sauce (I use four 15-ounce containers of the refrigerated Buitoni Marinara Sauce). Stir to combine, and then bring to a full bubble through the center. Reduce the heat to low and simmer 15 minutes with the cover ajar. Add a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper, the remaining garlic and the last dose of basil and simmer 5 minutes more.

Time Management Tips:
• All of the marinara sauce variations can be stored, when cool, in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or frozen for 3 months.

Recipe Summary

Difficulty Level: 
Medium
Cuisine: 
American
Course: 
Breakfast
Drink: 
Alcohol
Preparation Time: 
55 Minutes
Cook Time: 
55 Minutes
Ready In: 
110 Minutes
Servings: 
4

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2 Comments

khau.khan's picture
great picture and recipe ! Bon Appetite!
Jaded's picture
I tried this recipe out tonight and it was delish! A very well rounded sauce. My hubby enjoyed it too :)