Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Homemade Marinara Sauce

This takes a little time, but it's SO worth it.  There is nothing like homemade marinara sauce.


4 (14.5 oz.) Cans Diced Tomatoes - No Salt Added
1/4 Cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 Small Yellow Onion (diced small)
1 Large Carrot (peeled & diced small)
1 Celery Stalk (diced small)
4 Garlic Cloves (minced)
2 Dried Bay Leaves
1 Tsp Dried Basil
1 Tsp Dried Oregano
1/2 Tsp Ground Black Pepper
1/2 Tsp Garlic Salt


Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat.  Add diced onion, carrot and celery.  Cook over medium heat (stirring often) until the onions are translucent and the carrots are tender (about ten minutes). 

While the onion, carrot and celery are cooking drain the diced tomatoes.  Place two cans worth of diced tomatoes in a blender or food processor and pulse it a few times to crush the tomatoes.  You don't want to liquefy them...there should still be chunks of tomato. 

Once the onions are translucent and the carrots are tender season with salt and pepper.  Next add the crushed tomatoes, the remaining two cans of diced tomatoes, minced garlic, basil, oregano and dried bay leaves to the sauce pan.  Stir well and increase heat to high.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat until you have a good simmer going (just under a boil).  Simmer uncovered for thirty minutes to an hour (stirring often).  The sauce will thicken as it simmers.  Towards  the end I like to taste the sauce and add more salt or pepper if needed.

Serve over your favorite pasta.  Enjoy!

-If you don't want to get your blender dirty you can always use a ricer or potato masher to crush the tomatoes by hand.
-The longer you let this simmer the better!
-You can use one big can of crushed tomatoes instead of the four smaller cans of diced tomatoes.  I use the diced tomatoes because I can't find "no salt added" crushed tomatoes.  I like to be able to control the amount of sodium, and using the diced tomatoes also makes a chunkier sauce.
-If you want to add more veggies to your sauce I suggest adding them towards the end so that you don't overcook them.  Zucchini and mushrooms make great add-ins.
-If you like meat sauce just brown one pound of the ground meat of your choice in a large skillet as your sauce is simmering.  When the ground meat is cook through drain any excess fat.  Add the meat to the sauce and let it simmer for another ten to twenty minutes.  My hubby likes his pasta sauce REALLY meaty, so we add two pounds of lean ground turkey.
Turkey Marinara Meat Sauce w/2 Lbs of lean ground turkey.

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