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.

3 comments:

  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?

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  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.

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

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