When tomatoes are at their peak and prices are low, it's time to make a big batch of marinara sauce for the freezer. Having a supply of marinara sauce on hand can be a great help on a busy day. In less time than it takes to have a pizza delivered, you can boil a pot of pasta and warm up the sauce. Vegetarians can add sauteed mushrooms or eggplant; meat lovers can add meatballs, Italian sausage, ground beef, or pancetta. This recipe multiplies easily, so stock up!
From Food to Live By: The Earthbound Farm Organic Cookbook by Myra Goodman
|2 cloves||garlic (peeled)|
|1 small||carrot (coarsely chopped)|
|3 tablespoons||olive oil|
|1/3 cup||dry red wine (whatever wine you like to drink)|
|5 pounds||ripe tomatoes, peeled coarsely chopped, and juices reserved, or 2 cans (28 ounces each) diced or crushed tomatoes, with juice|
|1/4 cup||chopped fresh basil (or 2 teaspoons dried basil)|
|1 tablespoon||fresh oregano (or 2 teaspoons dried oregano)|
|1 tablespoon||fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)|
|1 teaspoon||coarse kosher salt|
|1/2 teaspoon||Freshly ground black pepper (or 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes)|
|1 teaspoon||Sugar (optional)|
Place the garlic and carrot in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the onion and continue to pulse until minced, scraping the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula 3 or 4 times.
Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-low heat. Add the onion mixture and cook, stirring frequently, until soft but not browned, about 11 minutes. Add the wine and stir well, loosening any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced slightly, about 3 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and their juices to the pot. Add the basil, oregano, and thyme, and let simmer gently until the flavors are concentrated, 35 to 45 minutes. Add the salt and pepper. Taste for seasonings and, if the sauce tastes too tart or acidic, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of sugar.
If you're not planning to use the sauce immediately, let it cool to room temperature. It can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 1 week. It freezes well, too, for up to 3 months.
About peeling tomatoes: Peeling tomatoes is easy to do if you blanch them briefly in boiling water first. The hot water loosens the skin so it slips off easily. Fill a large bowl with ice water and set it close to the stove. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Using a slotted spoon, lower the tomatoes into the boiling water and let them cook until the skin splits, about 1 minute. Remove the tomatoes and plunge them into the ice water, letting them soak until they're cool enough to handle. Using a paring knife, cut out the tomato cores and slip off the peels.