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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Red Sauce (Marinara Sauce)

 I love Italian food and when I was growing up I had two friends, they were sisters and they were Italian.  I looked forward to Sundays because I was always invited to their house for the usual Italian Sunday Family dinner...and boy could their mom make wonderful Italian food.  Having red sauce for your pasta didn't come ready from the can.  You used whole canned tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, tomato puree and of course all the good seasonings.  The other main ingredients where the meats.  I remember their mom always had pork, sausage, chicken and at times beef.  Cooking the sauce for most of the day with the meats in the sause is what made it so tasty.  Well last summer we had a some tomato plants so what better to do with them then to make red sauce.  I had never had roasted tomatoes until I ate at a place here in town called Milton's.  Excellent food, so if you ever get to KS you must try it.  It's just a little place in downtown and they are only open for breakfast and lunch, think they close at 2.  So with my tomatoes I roasted them in the oven for about 40 minutes at 400 degrees, these pictures also have some black cherry tomatoes that I bought from a local farmer. 
I roast my tomatoes and peppers on a large cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  It is easy for cleanup and also you can get all the good dripping that are created and put it in the processor.

This is the tomatoes with the salt, pepper, evoo, garlic salt and Italian seasoning.

In the following pictures you will also see red sweet peppers which I bought at Sam's.  I use these in the sauce to give it an added delicious flavor, you can also use these peppers (before you puree them) on top of homemade pizza or a sandwich.

I cut the peppers in rounds instead of strips, just a personal preference.   You can cut them anyway you like.

These are the peppers after 15 or so minutes, see how the onions are starting to become translucent? 
These are the tomatoes done.  You now put them in your food processor and puree them, be sure to get all the good stuff that's on the parchment paper. 

Making the puree

I add this to the sauce to give it body.  This is also the can that I used to cut my English Muffins.  It's a great size, I also think it would make a great cookie size and a good size doughnut.  Yet another thing on the list to make.  :-)

Now here is the sauce before the can has been added.  As you can see it's fairly thick.

And the final product.  With all the flavors from roasting the tomatoes, onions and peppers it makes a great flavorful sauce.  I also toss in about 5 or 6 gloves of garlic during the roasting.  I have also roasted garlic (the whole head) in foil for future recipes.  It makes the garlic very sweet and when you squeeze it from the casing you have almost a paste.

This sauce is great for pasta, pizza and calzones.  Really any Italian dish that calls for a red sauce.  Try it I'm sure you won't be disappointed.  You can buy your tomatoes and peppers from your local grower or even the grocery store (if you had to)  If you do choose the later be sure they are the vine or Roma's  type for the flavor.
I'd love to know if you try this.  Thanks for stopping by, and Remember to Always find the time to Do the All the Things you Love.

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