Monday, February 4, 2008
ALL PURPOSE TOMATO SAUCE (aka MARINARA)
At 7:45am Sunday morning the power went out. Being Super Bowl Sunday and all.... I figured it would be back on fast, since people want to watch the game, and cook all their goodies for their parties and stuff. But no, it was out for 8 HOURS. It didn't come back on until almost 4pm. I bet there were a lot of pissed off people. :) As for me, I didn't care about the game. I would have liked to turn the heat on though, but at least we're in southern California - it could have been a lot worse.
So after I cleaned the house and put away all the clean laundry, I found myself with plenty of additional time on my hands and remembered I was out of marinara. Gas stoves don't need electricity. YAY! I can cook!
My recipe is very simple.
Mince one large carrot and 3 celery stalks. Add about 1/4C oilve oil to a pan and saute until the carrots start to get soft, then add 2 diced medium onions (you choose your favorite color, I like yellow). Cook on low until soft and mellow. You can add water here and there to keep it from drying out. At the very end add 4-8 cloves minced garlic (some like it more garlicky than others).
No power means no food processor. No problem- I just used my food mill to puree the vegetables. I like it best through the food mill anyway. Now, I like my sauce smooth, but you are welcome to keep it chunky. It's all just personal preferrence.
Add the veg & oil puree to 4 large cans crushed tomatoes. Toss in a few bay leaves, salt & pepper to taste, some oregano and parsley and you're good to go. I happened to have some leftover pistou in the freezer, so I added that also. Heat through, then you're done. 15 min or so is all.
I cook the vegetables a long time so I don't have to cook the tomato a long time. I like the tomatoes bright and fresh, if you cook them a long time they get concentrated and stronger. We just prefer it fresh tasting, rather than a super strong tomato sauce. I freeze this in batches and can add other stuff later, like meat, cream or mushrooms to customize it.