Sooner or later you’re going to get really tired of being stuck at home while we all “shelter in place” during the covid-19 pandemic. At that point you may not have much interest in cooking. But you (and/or your family) will still need to eat, and will probably want comfort food. And few things say “comfort food” better than pasta (OK, Chicken and Dumplings is right up there, too!) That’s when it’s a huge help to have some filling and comforting basics in the freezer.
So channel your inner Italian Chef and make your own Marinara Sauce. It’s remarkably easy, given the fabulous results, and this recipe makes enough to serve now and freeze (or can) for later. It’s also remarkably adaptable. Got mushrooms, great! Don’t have any, leave ’em out! Ditto for peppers, zucchini or whatever else you like in your signature sauce. And when you cook something this long and slow, it’s fine to use dried spices, dehydrated onion, garlic, and even dried tomatoes.
And you can add ground beef if you want a meat-sauce, AND if you are going to freeze it. If you’re an expert home canner, you can pressure can it, but for the rest us, there are enough health issues already these days without trying your hand at amateur canning with meat.
So, for the best in Italian cooking, learn to make our own marinara sauce. It’s easy and the recipe makes enough to freeze for another meal. ~ Glyn
28 oz. canned crushed tomatoes (or two 15oz cans)
12 oz. tomato paste
1 1/2 cup water (or more if you like s thinner sauce)
1 cup diced onion
1 tbsp. chopped garlic
8 oz. thinly sliced mushrooms (or 1 8oz. can sliced mushrooms)
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive-oil
1 tbsp. dried basil or a handful of fresh basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried marjoram
1/2 tsp. (or more)salt
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 Chop the onion, garlic and mushrooms (if using.) Sauté in the olive oil over medium heat.
2 Combine with the water, and tomato paste. Stir thoroughly.
3 Add the crushed tomatoes, herbs and spices. Mix thoroughly.
4 Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for at least one hour. Or all afternoon if you are so inclined. The aroma is worth it!
5 Adjust seasoning.
Yield: 2 quarts
Degree of Difficulty: very Easy
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour or as long as you like!
Total Time: minimum of 1 hour and 20 minutes
Serving size: 1/8 of a recipe (7.8 ounces).
Sauce, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian