Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Homemade Marinara

MUCH, MUCH easier than you think. Now I just need to learn to can stuff and will have this on a whim all the time. So simple, so delicious, and really really easy. Please make this! I know Prego is the solution! I used it up until I made this sauce. Plus, you can say it is homemade!!!!

I actually made some more pasta (whole wheat!) dough the other day but had not made a sauce to go with it yet. Remember, I am a newbie…nothing is always perfect like TV chefs make you think. Was a bit weary about the wheat pasta.. How would the texture be? Would it be mush?  More on that later. Don't you wish sometimes on food network they would cringe when they taste the end result because they messed up? Ok, whatever, I'm the Debbie Downer. But sometimes, your food ain't perfection. It is what it is. This time, it's good.

This marinara is  Giada's and is excellent.  I may have changed a couple of measurements like keeping all the veggies, but it's basically the same. Sweet from the tomatoes, savory, rich, decadent. All you wish for in a great pasta sauce.

I cut Giada's recipe in half (sorta) because it makes a ton and I am just feeding 2!

1/4 c olive oil
1 medium white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic (we love garlic in our house), minced
2 carrots chopped
3 celery stalks (they were very small), chopped
1 32 oz can crushed tomatoes (we used Hunt's brand it was amazing but any crushed will do!)
2 bay leaves (still used 2 because I love the flavor they give to a sauce)

Add olive oil to your pot- any pot will do!!! - and sweat (stir every 3 minutes until they look glossy) your chopped onions down for about 10 minutes. Giada's recipe tells you to add the garlic as same time as the onions, but I find that makes the garlic burn and turn bitter. I added the garlic after the onions turned translucent. When you add the garlic, add the chopped celery and carrot.  Let those cook and stir every couple of minutes for about 10-15 minutes.

Then, add a 32 oz can of crushed tomatoes, 2 bay leaves, and stir…. THEN WALK AWAY. Really. For an hour. You have to let all those yummy flavors marry. But really, you are done making the sauce! All you have to do is stir every so often…but yes, you are going to make homemade marinara that quick!

I peeked - and stirred. MMMMMM

You don't have to do this next step, but I did just to make it a little smoother. If you like chunky sauce skip this step.  I used an immersion blender for just a couple of whirls to get it a little smoother. 

Here's my yummy pasta recipe- For the whole wheat pasta I cut the all purpose flour in half and used whole wheat in place. You still need the gluten in the AP flour to make the particular recipe I used work. Here's where it went awry! So, when you freeze your pasta, make SURE you flour it liberally…i mean, coat those babies with more flour than you think. Luckily, I defrosted some dough I hadn't cut into spaghetti yet and did it the right way. See the pic below. Those noodles need to be DRESSED in flour. Just do it. You will thank me later. I thought it looked wrong, but it was soooo right.

My cheat boil - a fry daddy basket :-)
When I boil my pasta I used SALTY SALTY water. 
Ooooh weeeeeee. Doesn't this look excellent? Don't say so if not.

Sprinkle some parm on there. 

Enjoy! Let me know what sauces you like with pasta. Mine obviously are those of the unhealthy variety. :-)

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