Friday, August 23, 2013

Best marinara I've ever made, aka Look Ma, no recipe!

Image is hard to visually scale; that's a
half gallon Ball jar!
Lasagna is on the ticket for tomorrow. Looking in the cupboard I had Trader Joe's whole peeled plum tomatoes with basil, Hunts tomato sauce, Hunts tomato paste. Throwing caution to the wind, I whipped up what is undoubtedly the best marinara I've ever made. (If I mucked it up, Scot would point me back in the right direction. He's my safety net in the kitchen. May things are "fixable.")

Heat 2 T olive oil in Dutch oven on stovetop
Drop in one medium onion, well chopped
Add 1/8 tsp salt, 1/8 pepper to onion as you sweat it
(Browning will give a darker, sweeter flavor. I did not.)

28 oz Trader Joes Whole Skinned Plum Tomato w/ Basil
28 oz can Hunts tomato sauce
1 can Hunts tomato paste
1 T dried parsley
2-3 T Penzy's Italian Herb Mix
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
3 T chopped garlic

Bring it up to a good simmer, then turn the burner to low and let it simmer for 40 minutes, stirring now and then.

The plum tomatoes are whole, so let it cool for 20 minutes, then use an immersion blender to smooth it out.

Yum. Much better than any jarred sauce. This made 1/2 gallon jar.

Tomato products are one of the kitchen staples you cannot skimp on. Hunts isn't my favorite, but they are better than most. You'd think there wouldn't be much difference, but once I had two cans of tomato paste, one Fred Meyer/Kroger brand, and one a name brand. I was using both in a recipe, and I compared taste once I had them both open.

I was floored. The store brand was AWFUL, lacking tomato taste, but with a very strong, metallic overtone. Never again!

This mix of products did not require any sugar! You may have to add 1-2 T sugar, depending upon the acidity of the tomato products. Add sparingly, in 1/2 T increments, because once it's in there you can't take it out!

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