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Thursday, October 3, 2013

American Marinara With Fresh Tomatoes

Photo courtesy of the Cooking Corner.

    At the end of summer garden harvest, when the last of the goodies are coming ripe, I had to try my hand at homemade sauce using fresh tomatoes. Instead of that blanch and peel method that wipes out my whole kitchen in red juices, I decided to try roasting them instead. This is so easy to do and clean up afterwards is a cinch.  (See post in tips and tidbits or the veggie section of this blog.)


    Making a marinara sauce from garden tomatoes was easy and roasting the tomatoes, so much less mess. I pondered which way to build this sauce - marinara or Bolognese? Since I had more tomatoes and less time, I picked marinara with an American sauce, that would go over angel hair. I had to add meat, Italian sausage and large pepperoni slices just for fun. Did I take the time to slowly build the flavors of a meaty Bolognese ragu? No, I'm all about throwing it in the pot and letting it simmer.

American Marinara With Fresh Tomatoes
16-20 medium tomatoes, roasted and crushed
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
salt and pepper
1 can tomato paste
1 tsp. sugar
6-8 leaves fresh basil (1/2 tsp. dried)
4-5 small stems fresh oregano (1 tsp. dried) 
 - or - 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 lb. cooked pasta of choice, 
1/2 tsp. olive oil

Optional but of course I had to add - 1 lb. Italian sausage, variety of choice, 8-10 large pepperoni slices and 1/2 cup diced bell peppers, any color.

In medium pot, brown sausage over medium heat for 8 -10 minutes until cooked about halfway. Add diced onion and cook over medium-low heat for 3-4 minutes then add garlic, stirring often. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover with lid tipped, allowing some steak to escape, and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Add crushed tomatoes, sugar and pepperoni if using. Simmer for 5 minutes or so to let tomatoes break down. Sprinkle in spices and reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer 30 minutes or as long as you like. Stir occasionally.

Serve over cooked pasta drizzled with olive oil. 

Serves 5-6.
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