Jun 1, 2013

Simple Homemade Marinera Sauce


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Lately I've been obsessed with the idea of making my kitchen basics myself.  Since I go through pasta sauce like it's my job I figured that would be a logical place to start, but I was afraid that it would be insanely difficult, time consuming, and, ultimately, more expensive and less flavorful. Today I finally decided to give it a try, and it seriously couldn't have been easier, and I'm really pleased with the result!

The great thing about making the sauce yourself is that you know exactly what's in in. Many grocery store pasta sauces have 20% or more of your daily sodium intake in a single serving, plus a ton of added sugar. This recipe just includes simple ingredients that most people already have in their pantry, with no extra sugar and only a pinch of salt. Also, the total cost of making this sauce is around 2.50-3 dollars, which is pretty darn sweet. I made this batch with butter, but I'm sure olive oil would substitute wonderfully.

I adapted this recipe from Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter by Food 52.

Simple Homemade Marinera Sauce
Prep time - 5 minutes / Cook time - 1 hour / Serves six

1 pound (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
2 1/2 tablespoons butter
Medium white onion
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes*
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried italian herb mix

Chop the onion into small pieces and combine it in a pot with the tomatoes, butter, salt, and herbs. Cook uncovered on a slow, steady simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally. When the sauce is done cooking, lightly blend with an immersion blender, food processor, or blender (I used an immersion blender).  This helps to even out the texture and puree the onion. Store in the fridge until ready for use.

* If you're like me, you like your pasta sauce with some kick. A teaspoon of red pepper flakes makes the sauce fairly spicy; if you just want to add a little bit of kick, I would suggest using a half teaspoon or less.