Here is a really great way to make a homemade marinara sauce. It can be made using many canned ingredients, but the cooking technique gives it a really special flavor. It is super easy to make and is really great. It is not a completely traditional pasta, but it is very good none the less!
- 2- 28oz canned of whole peeled tomatoes (I usually use Contadina Whole Peeled tomatoes, but any will work)
- 1/2 of a medium-sized white onion, chopped
- 4 good size garlic cloves, minced
- Pint of Heavy cream (optional)
- 1/4 cup of fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese
- Tablespoon of Basil
- Tablespoon of Oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon of Crushed Red Pepper flakes
- Tablespoon of Sea Salt
- Tablespoon of fresh cracked Black Pepper
- 1/3 cup of olive oil (I usually use regular olive oil as opposed to Extra Virgin olive oil. The taste is much more mild and suitable for the sauce.)
- Skillet (preferably stainless steel with a lid that can go into the oven, or a skillet and a Corningware dish that can go in the oven.)
- Turn on your oven to a 350 degree setting.
- Open the cans of tomatoes and drain the liquid. Take the tomatoes out one at a time and hand-squeeze them into a mixing bowl to break them apart and release the fluid from inside. (Be careful with this part! They squirt tomato juice everywhere!)
- Turn the stovetop on to medium heat. Put the olive oil, salt, pepper, basil, oregano and red pepper into the skillet. You want the dry ingredients integrated into the oil to release the flavor and distribute it evenly throughout the sauce.
- As the olive oil starts to ripple, add the onions and sautee them until they start to become translucent. Add the minced garlic at that point and continue to sautee for about two to three minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low to ensure the garlic doesn't burn.
- Add the tomatoes and stir together. Give it a couple of minutes to come together.
- Transfer your oven-safe skillet with a lid to the oven for one hour. If you don't have a skillet that can be used in the oven, any Corningware or dutch-oven type product will work. Just transfer the entire skillets contents to the Corningware and roast in the oven for the one hour time period. This cooking technique will release the natural sugars in the onion and tomatoes and give it a bold, deep flavor!
- After you take the mixture out of the oven, take half of the contents out and place the other half in the blender. Mix to a smooth texture. Transfer from blender and remix in the remaining unblended sauce. Add the cheese to the sauce and mix in with a spoon.
- Add your sauce to favorite pasta and enjoy!!
- The heavy cream and the cheese are completely optional. I like to add the cream when I am using with a mostacholi or penne noodle. It makes the sauce very decadent and sticks to the pasta better. If using with a spaghetti noodle, I would avoid the cream altogether.
- Use any type of cheese you prefer. I like the bold flavor of the Parmigiano, but Parmesan or even Mozzarela will work. You can blend the cheese in with the blender, but I like to spoon it in so it is unevenly distributed in the sauce. Kind of makes every bite delicious and new!
- Take what you don't use and freeze it. It is easy to warm up.
- Add any kind of meat to the sauce and cook at low heat for about thirty minutes to release the flavor from the meat.