Saturday, January 21, 2012

Home Made Marinara out Ragu, Classico, Prego, etc.

Today, it is a dark and dreary rainy day here in Atlanta. It is pouring down rain, thunder, lightning, etc. so I thought it would be a good day to post my recipe for home made marinara sauce. This is a "large batch" recipe. It keeps well in the fridge for a few weeks or you can freeze it to pull out and use later.  It is fresh tasting and really good...and of all the different marinara recipes I have tried, this is one of my favorites. It is so simple and contrary to popular belief, doesn't have to cook all day long! This is the recipe I use -- notice it only has a few ingredients. The "star" of this recipe is the San Marzano tomatoes, imported from Italy. San Marzano tomatoes are a type of plum tomato considered by many chefs to be the best sauce tomatoes in the world. Their flesh is thicker with fewer seeds and it is a stronger tasting plum tomato that is sweeter and less acidic. I use the Nina brand which I pick up from my local Costco.  This huge (almost 7-pound can) costs about $3.50....yes, you read typo here....$3.50. Enjoy!

Marinara Sauce - "Large Batch"


1 large "#10 tin" canned San Marzano tomatoes (6 lbs. 10 oz.)
8 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
8 cloves of garlic, minced
20 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
1 cup of extra virgin olive oil
Salt, to taste
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)


Pour tomatoes into a large pot and crush them with a potato masher to desired consistency (I leave mine fairly chunky, it will cook down).  In a large saute pan, add about 1/4 cup of your olive oil on medium heat and add your "sliced" garlic and cook until lightly golden brown (be careful not to burn it or it will make it bitter).  

Next, add your "minced" garlic to your pan (at this point I like to add a splash of white wine to my pan of garlic) and saute a little longer.  Add your garlic mixture to your pot of crushed tomatoes.  Pour in the remaining olive oil, and salt to taste (I also add 1 - 2 teaspoons of crushed red pepper flakes to give my sauce a little zing) and stir well.  Bring to a slight boil and turn heat down and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally (simmer your sauce until you have reduced it to the thickness and consistency you prefer).  While your sauce is simmering, thinly slice your fresh basil leaves (I like to stack them and roll tightly and slice into thin ribbons, chiffonade style -- here is a link so you can see how to chiffonade, if you are interested: How to Chiffonade). Once your sauce has completed cooking, immediately stir in your sliced fresh basil (it maintains the basil's wonderful fresh taste if you stir it into your sauce after it is cooked). have just made your own marinara sauce at a fraction of the cost of "jarred sauce" and you get to control what goes into it.

Below are pictures of the simple ingredients that go into this marinara recipe.  I am a "visual" person and I like to SEE what it looks like before I make it!  I hope your family enjoys this recipe as much as mine does!

This is THE "star ingredient" for your sauce
Olive oil, salt & crushed red pepper
Lots of fresh basil
Lots of fresh garlic
And this little contraption below is is made by "Zyliss" -- it is a garlic slicer -- it works beautifully and it makes very uniform, thinly sliced garlic in a fraction of the time it would take you using a knife -- and there is no chance of cutting your fingers off either, which is always a good thing!  :-)
Zyliss garlic slicer -- it makes slicing garlic a snap!
All the above ingredients and approximately 1 hour on the stove will give you this beautiful marinara sauce!!!  Who knew it could be so simple???


Anonymous said...

You have me convinced!!!! Yum! Yum!

Anonymous said...

Boy! That sounds like what my Mama used to make!