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Aug 21, 2008 07:11 PM

Homemade Marinara Sauce Problem

My brother made his usual delicious marinara sauce for dinner tonight. He used a whole head of garlic, chopped onion, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. There was no taste but the tomatoes!?!

I noticed some chopped up FRESH Italian parsley on the cutting board. He admitted putting it in during the cooking. Normally, I only sprinkle it on the finished sauce. Could cooking the fresh parsley be the problem? Any other ideas?

Thanks !

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  1. I don't mean to be arch, but how long was cocktail hour beforehand? :)

    Have you ever been in the kitchen while it was being cooked at any other time? I have found that I get desensitized to the smells of things while they are cooking if I am right on top of them. Then they don't taste nearly as good as they would otherwise. So if your brother has cooked this for you before and you showed up at dinner time, those smells would still be fresh and lively. Half of eating is smell, right?

    1. Generally speaking parsley would not be used in the cooking ingredients of the sauce. Basil, oregano, yes.... but I don't even sprinkle parsely over top of the plated macaroni.
      Perhaps the garlic was not fried long enough.... OTOH a whole head of garlic is over kill IMO. Did he chop the garlic before putting it into the hot olive oil? After adding the canned tomatoes did he season it with sea or Kosher salt and pepper? Grated Parmisano or Romano on top of the sauce in the plate is the final addition....and red pepper flakes too!

      1. This is a basic sauce and not a ragu or bolognese so tomatoes is what should pop. I'm not sure why he used a whole head of garlic unless it was a large quanitity of sauce he was making. Also, I don't think parsley is a good choice, but rather fresh sweet basil or oregano added at the end. I also add a small amount of sugar to balance the acidity of the tomatoes and a small handful of pecorino romano cheese. Finally, seasoning is VERY important and should be done once you've combined all the ingredients. Kosher salt and fresh pepper.