Recipe: Marinara Sauce
This post was going to be about baked ziti, a dish that I’ve had on my list to make for quite a while. But the recipe also included a link to a recipe for Marinara and I decided to first make my own sauce from scratch. Well, one thing led to another on Sunday afternoon and I ended up not getting around to making the baked ziti (yet), but I do have the sauce already made for it!
If that looks like a lot of ingredients for a Marinara sauce, it’s because it also includes the ingredients for the still-to-be-made baked ziti. This uses everything in the above picture except the pasta, cheeses, and sausage. As I read over the list of ingredients I was surprised to see carrot included and sugar omitted. Usually a tomato sauce includes some sugar to counter the acidity of the tomatoes. This uses the natural sugars in the cooked-down carrots for that purpose.
Prep is very straight forward, cut the vegetables into a small dice and cook them over medium heat in a covered pot for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want them cooked thoroughly so they kind of melt into the sauce, but not browned. The original recipe calls for canned whole tomatoes, broken apart by hand. I opted for canned crushed tomatoes and that worked just fine.
After adding the tomatoes and basil, stir to combine and cook on a low simmer for an additional 20 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste, but be sure and taste before seasoning to make sure you don’t over-salt the sauce.
I made a double batch of this so that I have some to freeze after making the baked ziti. I think this will make an excellent addition to any recipe that calls for a basic tomato sauce. It was easy enough to make that I might start doing the same thing I do with stock, make my own and freeze it rather than buying it at the grocery store. The flavors in this Marinara are more complex and I bet it’s way healthier than all the other sauce-in-a-jar options available at the store.
Rating: 4 out of 5 glasses of red wine for this Marinara. Speaking of red wine, I think adding some to the veggies while they cook down would be a good idea. I’ll try that next time.