Basic Marinara Sauce

Here is a basic tomato sauce, from Simply In Season.  It’s a good start.  I have found that marinara sauce is something that can be highly individual (as written about by Malcolm Gladwell).  This time, I had a five-gallon bucket of my mother’s tomatoes (primarily romas) and a few pounds of CSA tomatoes.  My sauce did not include the additional vegetables they recommend, although I did this last year and found it to be perfect!  This year, my pot was completely filled with tomatoes and I had no room for additional greenery!

Basic Tomato Sauce

1 onion

2 cloves of garlic

Saute until softened in 2T olive oil

2 carrots (shredded)

1/2 green pepper (chopped)

2 bay leaves

1/4c fresh parsley (chopped)

2T fresh basil (chopped, or 2t dried)

1T fresh oregano (chopped, or 1 t dried)

1T fresh tyme (chopped, or 1 t dried)

Add and stir well.

6c plum tomatoes (peeled and chopped)

6oz tomato paste

1T honey (I used a mixture of honey and brown sugar)

salt and pepper to taste.

Add and season to personal taste.  Simmer 15 minutes.  Remove bay leaves and serve, freeze or can.

To make mine, I peeled and seeded the tomatoes.  You can blanch tomatoes to remove the peels, but I prefer to run the back of a knife over a tomato to loosen and remove the peel.  This is by far the longest part of the process for fresh tomatoes.  If you don’t mind peels and seeds, this will be a huge time saver!  Since I often give sauce away, I try to remove all these for my sauce.  This is a picture of the tomato guts from the second batch of sauce I made.

I simmered the tomatoes with seasonings to taste literally all day while painting at my mom’s house.  I kept layering in flavors after stirring.  Since I had a lot more tomatoes, I did not measure according to this recipe, but instead kept tasting and adding.  I also included red pepper flakes and a bunch of fresh basil from my garden in my final pot of sauce.  There are plenty of other vegetable additions that would be great, use your bounty to increase the nutrient density of the final product as you see fit.  If you prefer a sauce that has chunks, you may want to simmer for less time.  If you prefer a smooth consistency, you may want to blend your final product (see, Gladwell was right about sauce, everyone has a different idea of what’s good!) When you have a kitchen filled with glorious smells and sauce at a consistency and flavor you want-it’s time to freeze, eat or can.

To can:  ladle into hot, sterilized pint jars to the first ridge.  Add one T of lemon juice or vinegar to each jar to ensure acidity.  Seal with sterilized lids and process in a boiling water bath for 35 minutes.

Cool on a flat surface.  Ensure that the cans are sealed.  If any are not, put in the refrigerator (or freeze) and use immediately.

*Other hints, you can freeze the sauce at any point of the process.  Think, peel and seed the tomatoes, freeze and make the sauce later.  Peel and seed some of the tomatoes and freeze…you get the idea.  Like I said, this is highly forgiving and very individual.

Note: I have made two batches of sauce now (and that’s it for this year!).  I have 28 pints of sauce.  Last year, I canned 24 pints, gave quite a few away and recently finished the final jar in the batch.  I have not purchased spaghetti sauce for over a year and it looks like it will be at least 2 before I buy another jar!

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3 thoughts on “Basic Marinara Sauce

  1. Pingback: Reflecting on the CSA, 2010 « Karma in the Kitchen

  2. Pingback: Let’s just call it cake « Karma in the Kitchen

  3. Pingback: Farewell to Tomatoes | Karma in the Kitchen

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