... and lots of it.
Today's cooking project was to make a ton of marinara. Despite my claims that homemade food disappears into the freezer never to come out, marinara sauce is the one exception. And with going back to work rearing its head in six working days, I figured this would be a good project to undertake. Starting the school year with multiple little glad containers with either 1 cup or 2 cups of measured marinara sauce will definitely come in handy on those uninspired evenings when cooking seems completely ludicrous.
I used a recipe I've made before, although not in a while. Featured in Cooking Light a few years ago, it makes upwards of 9 cups. While the recipe itself is somewhat time-consuming (caramelizing the onions for 30 plus minutes as well as 3 + hours of simmer time), the yield makes the effort quite worth it. I like to switch up the type of tomatoes I add - today I used two cans of "crushed" Muir Glen tomatoes (which were actually quite chunky) and one can of Muir Glen tomato puree. I also add the wine to the caramelizing onions, as the pan dries out I pour in a bit of the wine. It makes them very wine-y, but keeps me from burning them. And, learn from my mistake and make sure that when sprinkling dried hot pepper flakes that you have the container open to the sprinkle setting. Not the spoon dipping setting which proceeds to dump a ton of hot pepper into the sauce which then must be spooned out wasting precious tomato-ey goodness.
I took a picture while the sauce was cooking. It isn't the best, as I was desperately trying to keep the splatter from nailing the camera. This sauce does like to splatter, even on the lowest of low settings on my gas stove. Having invested all this effort into making sauce today, I think a sampling of this sauce will become my dinner. It will top some frozen tofu ravioli I re-discovered yesterday nicely, and with minimal effort on my part since I'm now feeling lazy.
Cooking Light's Notes - Dry red wine intensifies the well-blended flavors in this lusciously seasoned tomato sauce--magnifico!Serve over your favorite pasta.
My Notes - I like to switch up the type of tomatoes I add - today I used two cans of "crushed" Muir Glen tomatoes (which were actually quite chunky) and one can of Muir Glen tomato puree. I also add the wine to the caramelizing onions, as the pan dries out I pour in a bit of the wine. It makes them very wine-y, but keeps me from burning them. I also up the spices a bit depending on my mood.
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 cups chopped onion (about 3 medium)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
6 garlic cloves, crushed
2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes, undrained
2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
2 (6-ounce) cans tomato paste
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat; add onion and sugar. Cook 30 minutes or until golden, stirring occasionally. Stir in wine; cook 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
Yield: 9 cups (serving size: 1 cup)
CALORIES 169(20% from fat); FAT 3.8g (sat 0.5g,mono 2.3g,poly 0.6g); PROTEIN 5.3g; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 131mg; SODIUM 960mg; FIBER 6.5g; IRON 2.9mg; CARBOHYDRATE 30.9g
Cooking Light, AUGUST 2004