i could eat this sauce by itself. it has such a bright delightful tomato flavor, with just the right amounts of sweet and tart and fresh. please please use the yummiest garden tomatoes you can find, no blando supermart 'matoes here please. in the wintertime, i use a couple of quarts of bottled tomatoes. i simmer this sauce at least an hour. two hours is better: the longer this simmers, the better. i hear if you wander into an italian kitchen there is often a pot of marinara simmering the afternoon away at the back of the stovetop.
so ya, removing tomato skins is not my favorite thing to do, but in my instructions you use the same pot for cooking and blanching, so you have no extra pots to wash and it just adds a few minutes of extra prep work. it is worth removing the skins. the sauce will have a softer, sweeter flavor, and since the skins never break down, the texture is ten thousand times better. trust me.
serve this over fresh homemade pasta, in lasagne or baked ziti, as a dip for calzones, or over chicken parmigiana. use any leftovers for homemade pizza the next day.
fresh tomato marinara sauce
an original recipe by rachelle
8 big garden tomatoes, or 10 romas (must be garden fresh. no blando supermart tomatoes! if you must, use a couple big 28 oz cans/quarts of tomatoes.)
1/2 onion, chopped
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 bay leaf
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
drop half of the tomatoes into boiling water in a big stockpot and boil for 45 seconds. remove to a big bowl of ice water. repeat with the other half of the tomatoes. peel dump the water out of the stockpot to use for sauce. set aside.
chop the onion. preheat the oil in the stockpot. (sure you could use less oil, but it adds richness and flavor. minimum 2 Tbsp. ok.) drop the onion in the oil and soften for 5 mins over medium heat.
working quickly, peel the skins off of the tomatoes, they should slide right off after you break the skin. cut out cores and cut tomatoes into big 2-3 inch chunks. (they cook so long, they break down. you can cut them in huge quarters.)
drop the tomatoes into the pot with the onions. add in all of the tomatoes, the garlic and the bay leaf. bring to a boil. hard simmer for a half hour.
add basil, oregano, salt, and sugar. adjust seasonings to taste. (it just depends on your tomatoes. sometimes you need more or less salt, more sugar, just taste. but for heavens sakes, blow on the spoon alot before you taste. just a tip i've come by the hard way. six thousand times.)
hard simmer another half hour. liquid should have boiled down and reduced by about half. stir in balsamic vinegar. taste, maybe add another teaspoon balsamic.
Labels: fab main dishes: meatless, fab main dishes: pastas, fashionably foodie originals, super sauces