Thursday, August 11, 2011

Marinara Sauce... From Scratch!

As I previously mentioned, I obtained some free tomatoes that were begging to be made into something tasty. Thus, I searched the internet for a recipe for marinara, a simple tomato sauce originating in southern Italy that translates to "mariner's" sauce. (Perfect for pirates, eh?)

I used this recipe courtesy of the Food Network and chef Curtis Aikens. The first thing it calls for is peeled and seeded tomatoes. Well, crud. I remembered from all of the years of my mother's cooking that peeling tomatoes involved boiling them, but how and for how long? eHow to the rescue! I set a small pot to boiling, then plopped in about 5 tomatoes at a time for a few minutes each group, then fished them out and placed them in a bowl to cool. Many had started to peel themselves. For those that didn't, I put thin slices in and the skins came right off. Seeding a tomato reminds me of seeding a pepper, but much easier!

Once that was accomplished (and my kitchen looked like the location of strange lab experiments), I chopped the tomatoes and placed them in my medium-sized pot, setting the burner to medium-low. I ran out of regular olive oil about halfway through measuring out the quarter cup, so I finished with my lovely, darling, delicious garlic flavored olive oil, which meant I didn't need to add garlic, which was good because I didn't have any outside the powdered variety. 
I didn't have fresh basil, so I used most of my canister of store-bought dried basil, however I did have freshly dried parsley from my little parsley plant, which I think added greatly to the rich flavor of the resulting marinara. I think I probably put in too many herbs, but honestly the flavor was just fine - quite delicious, actually! 

First, I spread the finished marinara on a slice of Tuscan pane with shredded mozzarella on top. Kimmy tried toasting hers while I ate mine soggy and glorious. Then I was still hungry and we were almost out of bread, so I made some fusilli pasta (shaped like a corkscrew) and managed to get it perfectly al dente! I finished off the meal with a glass of Riesling and thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed my relaxing evening.


  1. Sounds wonderful.
    You are also the first person I have ever seen translate marinara. Awesome. :)
    Now I'm wondering why this particular sort of recipe is so good for seafarers?

  2. One theory is that it was invented by cooks at sea. The high acid content of the tomatoes made them resistant to spoilage, unlike meat sauce.

  3. I enjoyed this post. I have never made marinara starting with fresh tomatoes.