Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Marinara Sauce

The Italian name marinara refers to Italian sailors, who brought the tomato back from America. In those days, common sailors were of necessity mostly vegetarian, since plant based provisions were cheap and stored well. If a ship did keep animals onboard, they were only for the officers table. Marinara sauce was a meatless sauce.

Marinara sauce is a tomato sauce. While tomato is the main vegetable, flavor comes from base and thickening starch comes from Italian zucchini squash. Seasoning comes from garlic, bay, oregano, marjoram and basil. With the main tomato flavor, a base is really optional. I think it adds complexity. Don’t over do onion or bell pepper.

1/2 onion, chopped (option)
1 celery, chopped (option)
1/2 red bell pepper (option)
2 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp marjoram
fresh basil (optional)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp salt
1 can tomatoes
2 green zucchini squash or yellow squash (optional)
1 can tomato paste (optional)

Brown onion and sweat chopped base vegetables. Add garlic and spices, tomatoes, squash and tomato paste. Simmer low 1-2 hours. Best to cook very slowly.

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