Monday, March 03, 2014

Made from Scratch Marinara Sauce

First let me say this is NOT is time consuming, so patience is needed. For this first try, I used plain old tomatoes. The sauce came out a bit more orange than I would have liked, and so I researched which tomatoes to use. Roma tomatoes were suggested on many sites, so I will be trying that next time. As a plus, Roma's are lower in acid.

First, you have to peel and seed the tomatoes.  I used this tutorial, and it was perfect. I had 8 large tomatoes. Word of advice, since this is so time consuming, I would make A LOT and can it. Eight large tomatoes does not make a lot after they have cooked. It made the one mason jar, plus the spoonfuls used on two servings of tortellini--aka--not much.  So, if you are going to use Roma's, I'd go to Costco and get two or three of their boxes.

To add one step after seeding, I would give them a quick whirl in your food processor or blender. I didn't know what to expect, and I thought they would break apart more during cooking, but they didn't. I had to puree after the sauce was cooked, which worked fine, but would have been easier to do before.

This tutorial says to reserve the reserve it, but hold off on adding it until after you have pureed to see if you really need more juice. 

To make the sauce:

2  yellow onions, peeled and diced (about 2 cups diced)
2 Tbsp olive oil
5-6 cloves of garlic, minced (about 2 Tbsp-I cheat and use jarred minced garlic)
2 Tbsp dried oregano
1/2 cup red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
12 cups peeled and seeded fresh ripe tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste

In a large soup pot, heat up the olive oil. Add the onions and cook slowly, on medium heat until they start to caramelize. They should be evenly brown and soft. Add the garlic and oregano and cook for 5 minutes. Pour in 1/2 cup of red wine and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the tomatoes and their juice (if desired) and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook on low, stirring occasionally for at least 2 hours, or longer depending on the water content of the tomatoes. The sauce should be thick with much of the water evaporated to concentrate the flavor. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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