Homemade Marinara Sauce
I'm looking for a authentic recipe for marinara sauce. It can be made with canned tomatoes or fresh tomatoes, which ever works best in the recipe. I'm also interested in canning it and being able to add veggies or meat to it later on. If you have any recipes or just tips in general, I would greatly appreciate it!
I made a marinara sauce the other day and did pretty much what vvvindaloo did but used a pressure cooker for the first time to make sauce. Never had to stir it and it came out thick and flavorful after about 30 min of cooking. I used fresh basil in the sauce when cooking and pulled it out and finished with fresh basil just warmed before serving.
Hi, LoriB00. Welcome to CH :)
Here is how I make my basic Italian tomato sauce:
I usually begin with canned Italian tomatoes. I am a big fan of Strianese brand San Marzano DOP tomatoes, but I also use Vantia DOP, La Valle DOP, and even northern Italian and Sicilian tomatoes (not from S. Marzano) at times (DOP is an Italian gov't. designation certifying the product's origin). Some other examples of tomatoes (which may be easier to find, depending on where you are) that people I know have used with good results are LaSquisita and Tuttorosso.
In any case, the tomatoes should have a bright red color and smell sweet and fresh when you open the can.
For one 28-oz.can, I would use about 3 tablespoons olive oil (I use extra virgin) and two cloves of garlic. I usually add the garlic to the oil in a skillet before I heat it up. Sometimes I will mince the garlic, other times I will merely slice it (thick) and remove the pieces after I am finished.
Heat up the olive oil slowly, until the little bubbles form around the garlic and it begins to brown lightly and you can smell its aroma, but don't let the garlic get too brown. Add the entire contents of the can into the oil and cook on medium heat, stirring to incorporate. It should be bubbling, but not to the point of spattering. Allow it too cook at least 15 minutes before tasting it. Add salt to taste and lower the heat to a simmer until it you have a consistency and flavor that you like. Stir in small handful of basil chiffonade (or just shred the leaves with your hands) a couple of minutes before you take it off the heat. And that's it.
I occasionally use cans of tomatoes that include some puree. These tend to take a little bit longer to cook and I end up with a slightly thicker sauce than when I use only whole tomatoes with juice. Sometimes a thicker sauce is preferable, and sometimes it isn't, but that's a whole other topic :)
I don't really do any canning or jarring, so I can't speak for that. Hopefully someone else on this board can help you out.
EDIT: I forgot to mention that many brands of Italian tomatoes will contain whole leaves of basil. I usually just pour it right into the skillet with the tomatoes and cook it into the sauce, adding some fresh basil at the end. If I happen to be using tomatoes that were not canned with basil, I will throw a couple of whole leaves into the pan with them. But I am a basil lover. To maintain maximum versatility, you may not want to add any strong aromatics at all.
no expertise on canning. it keeps pretty well in the freezer though. i like vindaloo's recipe but if i don't want to do garlic i like beginning with the tri-veggie "soffrito."
a lot of italians believe garlic/onion should be an either or thing in a red sauce.....think of it how you may. i don't know if i am entirely sold on that, but i do follow it a lot unless i have aromatics i need to use up before vacation, etc.
- for 28 ounce can of whatever decent brand is one sale - hunts or italian imported.
i begin with 1/4 or more cup olive oil - i know perhaps too much but it is so so good, and i just cannot resist.
1 yellow onion finely chopped cooked until transparent in medium-low heat, then i kick up the heat to medium, and i add one big carrot and one big celery that have both been chopped finely. i add salt to the sofritto at this point; no pepper (but that is just me).
i cook this with a bay leaf at a lively-ish heat for almost 15 minutes. i like it to be very fine and soft personally.
then, i add the canned tomatoes, and i simmer for at least 20 minutes.
puree i use sometimes, but i like how the process of breaking up the whole tomatoes w/ a wooden spoon leaves the sauce w/ an un-uniform look. i will throw in a little puree (if i need to use it up).
Yeah- this really is the best way, keep it simple and use great ingredients. I love the Strianese as well- they are expensive but you can get a discount in some places if you buy them by the case (they're worth it nonetheless, imo). Sometimes I will even go the extra mile and add a few pats of butter right before tossing with the pasta, but that is about as complicated as I like to get with my marinara.
Occasionally I will make extra sauce for the freezer, but more often than not there is no need. The sauce is essentially done by the time the water reaches a boil and the pasta is ready.