Saturday, March 24, 2012

Marinara Sauce

My family always called marinara sauce gravy, but when I call it that around other people they never have any idea what I'm referring to. No matter what its called its delicious as long as its home made, that garbage that comes in the jar is nothing like the real thing, its way too sweet due to unnecessary added sugar and no veggies. Real marinara has a strong tomato and garlic flavor and is filled with chunks of bell peppers and onion. My mom makes a more traditional sauce with meat such as meatballs, sausage, spare ribs, or any meat that happens to be in the fridge. The long cooking time makes the meat fork tender and fall right off the bone. Obviously my vegetarian version does not have any meat so I sub a poblano for a green bell pepper or add a little jalepano for a kick and my mom even asks me how I make mine now. 
Making home made tomato sauce is incredibly simple but it does take a little planning because it needs to simmer for a while on the stove. Of course its great on pasta and pizza but its also fantastic just on veggies! It freezes very well thus I usually make a double batch and freeze portions in glass jars. The portion size depends on your preference.

Marinara Sauce

2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 poblano pepper, chopped (or a green bell pepper)
1 yellow onion, chopped
1/2 a jalepano, minced (use this if you can't find poblanos)
6-8 cloves of garlic, minced (use less if you don't love garlic)
1/4 cup of red wine, which ever you drink
2 28oz cans crushed tomatos
1 8oz can tomato paste
1/4-1/2 teaspoon each garlic powder, oregano, basil or an Italian seasoning blend
pinch of red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat the oil in large pot over medium high heat. Add the peppers and some salt and sauté about 5 minutes then add the onion and continue to cook while stirring until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and cook until light golden.
2. Deglaze the pan with the wine, meaning, add the wine and scrape any burnt bits off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon or spatula.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil, this will happen quickly. Turn the down to super low and let it simmer for at least 1 1/2 - 2 hours stirring occasionally.
4. Serve with Parmesan cheese :)

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