I don’t think I’ve ever talked about making your own Red Sauce before. As a young bride from Hawaii, I made Tomato Sauce the way that everyone did, except my husband’s family. So I had to learn how to make American-Italian dishes by trial and error; it took a while, but I got it.
Auntie Doni’s Marinara
(2) 28 oz. cans Whole Italian Plum Tomatoes (I use San Marzano tomatoes)
1 C. Onion, minced
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2 Tbsp. Tomato paste
2 Tbsp. dried Oregano
1 Tbsp. dried Basil
¼ C. fresh Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped
½ Tbsp. Garlic, minced
¼ C. grated Parmesan Cheese
S & P to taste
Hand crush the tomatoes in a large bowl (or use a stick blender). In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions until they are light golden; add the garlic for sauté until fragrant. Add the tomato paste and stir vigorously for about 30 seconds; add the dried herbs and also stir vigorously for another 30 seconds. Carefully pour in the crushed tomatoes and scrape up any bits on the bottom of the pot. The parsley and cheese go in the pot next, stir and cover partially to simmer slowly for about an hour. Give it a taste, is there a slight sour note? Stir in a pinch of sugar, that will fix that.
*Tip: if you have all of your ingredients measured out on to paper plates or any other dish that you prefer, things will move along much more smoothly. The French call this Mise En Place, “putting in place”.
*Tip #2: Maybe you can see that I have my Tomato Paste in a small zip top bag. Rather than spend alot of money on paste-in-a-tub, I buy those small cans and portion them out into baggies and freeze them.
If you’d like to add any meats to your sauce to make what some folks call Sunday Gravy, after the parsley and cheese are mixed into the pot, add, oh I don’t know, how about these nicely seared Boneless Country Pork Ribs, MMM! This will take your Marinara up a notch.
Meatballs are an excellent choice too. Maybe spice it up with some Red Pepper Flakes. Anything that your household likes. Marinara is a stepping stone to many, many other Italian dishes. Recipes are someone else’s idea, take them and make them your own.