Friday, January 2, 2009

Basic Tomato Sauce a la Mario Batali

Submitted by: Michelle

As a follow up to the sausage bread recipe, I thought I'd post a marinara sauce recipe that I really like and that pairs well with the sausage bread. It is from the king of Italian cooking, Mario Batali. The recipe follows his premise of "a few simple ingredients." All you need is olive oil, tomatoes, onion, garlic, carrot, fresh thyme and salt.

The process is easy -- just saute the veggies together in a large pot...
Add the tomatoes and cook for about 45 minutes.
Your house will smell amazing and you'll have a yummy sauce to use on pasta or for dipping.

A few cooking notes:
1. If possible, buy San Marzano tomatoes in a can. I like Cento brand and they can be found in most grocery stores. Most Italian style tomatoes will have basil in the can too. Remove the basil. Do not add it to the sauce.

2. The tomatoes need to be crushed by hand. I put them in a large bowl, stick my hand in and squeeze away!

3. Use fresh thyme. Dried thyme will compromise the flavor. If you're not a fan of thyme or you don't have it on hand, dried oregano would work well too.

4. Mario suggests slicing the garlic rather than mincing it. That way, you get the flavor of the garlic but if a person doesn't want to eat it, it is easy to pick out.

Mario's Basic Tomato Sauce
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Spanish onion, 1/4-inch dice
4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tablespoon dried
1/2 medium carrot, finely grated
2 (28-ounce) cans peeled whole tomatoes, crushed by hand and juices reserved

In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook until soft and light golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the thyme and carrot, and cook 5 minutes more, until the carrot is quite soft. Add the tomatoes and juice and bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until as thick as hot cereal. Season with salt and serve. This sauce holds 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer.

1 comment:

~ Lucy said...

"If a person doesn't ant to eat it"?! People who don't eat garlic are no friends of mine (unless, of course, they are children and don't know any better).

The recipe looks great. I may give it a go.

Happy New Year!!!