Wednesday, August 29, 2012
This marinara sauce may look simple, and it’s quick easy to make. But don’t let that fool you. If you could scratch and sniff you’d be jumping up and down right now, like I was. All that’s missing from the photo is a bright piece of basil, but I hadn’t plan to write this post and had none left.
Today I bring you the best marinara sauce ever. EVER. (And I loathe when people use all capital letters in writing, so you know I’m not kidding around here.)
Seriously, again with the tomato sauce, you ask? This is real-time cooking, my friends, and I just made my first batch of fresh tomato sauce this past weekend. (What? You’ve not made it yet? It’s a labor of love but it’s so gratifying and delicious. Check out the how-to; lots of details and photos to guide you.) This is not about that. Rather, I was SO EXCITED about this marinara I made as part of the process—note again the shouty capitals—and it’s important to share with you my unfettered joy. Why? Three reasons:
- It was insanely good. (That should be obvious by now.)
- It’s so easy. SO easy.
- It’s incredibly versatile: it can be used in fresh tomato sauce as a thickener, on its own, or in other tasty dishes like penne a la vodka, eggplant parm, or pizza sauce.
Let me be even more emphatic here, if I may. Had I not already begun prepping for my chunky veggie tomato sauce—which was made from fresh-frozen veggies, by the way—I would have immediately made penne a la vodka or just threw this sauce over pasta itself for fresh, bright flavors that scream summer. The heady aroma of basil- and garlic-inflected fresh marinara was almost too much to bear, and I had to force myself to stop “tasting” it before I had none left, for any purpose.
All you need is just three steps with 10 minutes of prep and 10 minutes on the stove, if you like. (Penne a la vodka is super easy, too, but that’s a recipe for another day.)
1. Chop 8 (or so) roma tomates and place in food processor. (The chunks needn’t be small.)
2. Roughly process the tomatoes, then add a handful of fresh basil, several garlic cloves, and 4-6 oz tomato paste. Process until incorporated.
3. Season with a touch of sea salt, black pepper, and olive oil, give another whir, and done. (On a rare occasion, a touch of honey or agave nectar might be needed for balance depending on how good your tomatoes were; totally unnecessary in this case given my farmers’ market-fresh fruits.)
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Taste the love.