Sunday, March 23, 2014

Homemade Marinara Sauce

Back in February, I told you about the great deal I got on Roma tomatoes and multi-colored peppers at Aldi. You can read about it HERE. Well, I'm finally getting around to sharing with you my way of making homemade marinara sauce.

I've been making it this way for years. I really don't measure anything, or have a "recipe" written down. I just kind of eye-ball everything, tasting and adjusting along the way if necessary. I will do my best to explain how I do it, so you can give a try too! (It's so much better than store-bought marinara sauce, and once you've made your own, it's hard to go back to store-bought).

 Here's what you'll need:  tomatoes (I use Roma - what's pictured here was about 12 lbs.); yellow onions (about 2 cups; chopped), garlic (6-7 cloves; sliced), extra virgin olive oil (about 3-4 Tblsp), red wine (about 1 cup - I just use cooking wine), Kosher salt (about 1-1/2 Tblsp), freshly ground black pepper (about 1 tsp) & fresh basil (about 1/2 cup).

Equipment needed: Two large pots and a food mill.

 Cut the tomatoes in half, cross-wise. This will expose the tomato's 2-3 seed chambers. Over the side of the sink with the food disposer, squeeze the tomato so that the seeds and all that jelly looking stuff squeezes out. (Hint: If you have a piece of tomato in each hand, you can squeeze both and then use the tomatoes to kind of wipe the opposite tomato to get all of the seeds and stuff to fall out into the sink). You can see in the last photo what it looks like without the seeds. It doesn't have to be perfect. A few seeds are okay, but all of the "stuff" in there will just water down your sauce, and you don't want that. We're making marinara, not tomato juice!


 Next cut each tomato half in half again, so you end up with tomato quarters. Place your pot over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Add the chopped onions and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the tomato quarters and give it a good, gentle stir (that pot is pretty full right now), working the onions and garlic up from the bottom of the pot.


Sprinkle with kosher salt and give it about 6-7 grinds of pepper (about 1 tsp). Add the wine. Remember that basil I harvested last summer and put in the freezer? THAT is going to make this sauce! I just pull out a handful of frozen leaves, and give them a crumble, right on top of the tomatoes.


Cook over medium to medium-high heat (uncovered), stirring every 15 - 20 minutes. You want to keep them at a good simmer. The tomatoes will start to cook down, and concentrate. After about an hour, I get in there with a masher, and help to break the tomatoes down even more (if you don't have any type of masher, you can use a wooden spoon). Continue to simmer, stirring every so often, until it reaches the consistency shown in the last picture here.


 Now comes the fun part. Place the food mill fitted with medium holed disc over a large pot. Ladle some of the sauce into the food mill and turn clockwise with one hand, while holding the handle of the food mill with the other hand.  Every 4-5 turns, do one turn counter-clockwise to clean up the skins. Continue to pass the sauce through the food mill in the same manner. When there are too many skins in the food mill, you'll need to clean it out before continuing.  Be sure to scrape the bottom of the mill, before taking it to the sink to clean! You don't want to miss all of that yumminess on the bottom!
 

 This is what you'll end up with when you're done. At this point, you can put it into freezer containers and place into the freezer, or if you are into the whole canning thing, you can do that with it too!

In my home, this is like a pot of gold! Nothing makes my husband happier than coming home and seeing and smelling this. I can have dinner already prepared, and my husband will say "I have to have some pasta"!

What can I say? He's Italian!

Buon Appetito!
 

10 comments:

  1. I agree, homemade sauce is always so much better than store bought! Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. It sure is! Do you make your own Shelby? I'd love to see your recipe!

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  2. Kim, your recipe looks wonderful! I love all the step by step instructions! I hope to learn how to can this summer!

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    1. Thank you Lela! I love to can, I just wish I had more storage space so I could do a lot more!

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  3. I can't wait to make this sauce!!!... I love the step by step pictures...

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    1. Awe, thank you so much Jenny! If you don't have a food mill, you can borrow mine, ok my friend?

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  4. YAY! I've been waiting for this recipe since your post about the 'maters! Can't wait to try it!!

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    1. Oh, thanks Marion! I hope you like it . . . let me know, once you make it. It's very fresh and simple, as we don't care for heavily spiced sauces, but you can adjust to your own tastes as well.

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  5. This is great! Thank you. I can't wait to have an abundance of 'real' tomatoes!

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    1. Thanks Penny! I wish I had a garden full of fresh tomatoes. I'm sure your garden is beautiful.

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