Sunday, February 22, 2009

Holy Marinara!

I spent the afternoon making a buttload of marinara sauce, about 14 cups to be precise. I like to make a big batch, use some that night and freeze the rest for future meals. I make Giada De Laurentiis' recipe and double it. I pour 2 cup portions into freezer bags. Tonight I used some of the sauce and made turkey meatballs and spaghetti. I know making homemade marinara sauce can seem daunting, but really, it is very easy. This sauce also has some veggies sneaked in, which provides nutrients and natural sweetness.

Ingredients for the Sauce:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 small onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 (32 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes (Now, I only can ever find 28 ounce cans, which works out fine.)
2 dried bay leaves

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic, saute until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the celery, carrots, and salt and pepper. Saute until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bay leaves. Simmer uncovered over low heat for about 1 hour. Remove the bay leaves. Season with a little salt and pepper to taste.

*Note: I chopped the onions, garlic, carrots and celery in the food processor. If I had to finely chop all that onion by hand, I would probably go blind. I am very sensitive. Anyway, just break the veggies down into smaller chunks first, and don't overstuff your processor.

**Note: The above recipe makes 8 cups, I usually double it. You can make this sauce a day ahead. Let it cool, cover it and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium heat before using. If you are freezing, it should be good for up to 3 months.

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