I went out in my garden this morning and that we have a bunch eggplant ready to cook up. We like Eggplant Parmesan. It’s yummy and I have found a way to make it lower fat. That is for another post. Today, I am making marinara sauce.
People often ask me what the difference between marinara sauce and tomato sauce is. Marinara is a quick sauce, seasoned only with garlic, pepper, and, if you like, basil or oregano. The pieces of tomato are left chunky, and the texture of the finished sauce is fairly loose.
This recipe is from Ina Garten of the Food Network. It is one of the best marinaras I have ever made.
1 tablespoon good olive oil 1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 onion) 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic 1/2 cup good red wine, such as Chianti 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, or plum tomatoes in puree, chopped 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Heat the olive oil in a large (12-inch) skillet. Add the onion and saute over medium heat until translucent, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the wine and cook on high heat, scraping up all the brown bits in the pan, until almost all the liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes.
Stir in the tomatoes, parsley, salt, and pepper.
Cover, and simmer on the lowest heat for 15 minutes.
I can never leave well enough alone. I get a recipe, and I ALWAYS do something to spice it up or make it to my families taste. After all, why cook something if it’s not what you like? And even if you like it, why not try to make it better? So here is my list of changes:
I always add extra garlic. We love the taste of it. Did you know that people who eat a lot of garlic have fewer problems with blood clots? So I upped the amount of garlic to 3 cloves.
I decreased the amount of salt to about 1/2 tsp. Canned tomatoes have A LOT of sodium in them from the processing. That’s why they taste so salty. The marinara will taste just fine with less salt.
I like to use half crushed tomatoes and half diced. I love chunky sauces. It reminds me of what we had growing up(my dad grew a lot of tomatoes). So I used one 15 ounce can of crushed tomatoes. And with the diced tomatoes, I used one 15 ounce can of fire-roasted tomatoes. If you haven’t tried them, please do. The taste is so much more intense.
This recipe did not call for fresh herbs, but they make a huge difference. I grow our own basil and oregano, as well as the parsley. The flavor is better and it’s cheaper than buying.
Finally, I always add a pinch of sugar to my marinara. It decreases the acidity of the sauce. Much better
I will be using this marinara for Eggplant Parmesan. You can use for spaghetti, sausage sandwiches(vegetarian of course!). Whatever you use the bottled sauce for. This sauce should also freeze well for future meals.