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Old 05-28-2007, 12:15 PM   #1
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ISO help making homemade marinara sauce

Hi Everyone!

I am new to this site, so please excuse any errors I may make, and please correct me.

I hope I'm in the right place. I received greenhouse for a Christmas present, and am I having fun with it!! Except for the heat in there (I live in Florida) I could spend all day playing with my plants. I may not be very good at it, but I do enjoy it.

What I am looking for today is a tomato sauce or a marinara sauce that I can make with my fresh tomatoes, fresh oregano, fresh basil, and fresh everything else. I don't know anything about this, how to prepare the tomatoes, how much of each herb, etc., so any feedback will be greatly appreciated.

I hope I'm in the right place! I look forward to hearing from anybody!

jbelisle

P.S. What are the icons for?

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Old 05-28-2007, 12:25 PM   #2
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First, welcome to Discuss Cooking!!!

About the marinara - I like a very simple sauce. If your tomatoes are really ripe and full of flavor remove the skins first (if you do not know how to blanch and remove the skins just say so and we will give you directions).

After blanching and removing the skin I like to cut tomatoes in half (horizontal) and give a little squeeze to remove most of the seeds. Chop in cubes to equal maybe 8 cups?

In a sauté pan or pot heat about 1/4 cup olive oil and maybe 4 nice cloves of garlic, minced. Heat on medium as you don't want the garlic to brown. Once heated and the aroma of garlic has permeated the air add your chopped tomatoes. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are heated through and have started to cook and break down some. You want this mixture to be fairly dry too - you don't want a whole lot of juice in there - some, but not a lot. Once it has reached this point add about 1/2 cup of basil chiffonade (chiffonade is when you stack the leaves and roll like a cigar and slice into 1/4" ribbons) and turn off heat. At this point you can also add some seeded, whole kalamata olives (8 or so) - Let set on stove for a good 45 minutes or so to cool and let the basil infuse the tomatoes. You can store in fridge at this point or make some angel hair pasta. Once the pasta is done and drained place a serving of marinara in a skillet, heat, toss in pasta and a couple kalamata olives. Heat and transfer to plate. Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

EDITED TO SAY: One thing I failed to mention is salt and pepper. Once you start cooking your tomatoes salt and then taste. Always taste before you serve.
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Old 05-28-2007, 01:30 PM   #3
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That sounds good KitchenElf!
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Old 05-28-2007, 01:44 PM   #4
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Thanks - I've always used canned tomatoes as I feel they have a more consistent flavor than fresh when it comes to cooked marinara. But if you have really good fresh it's ok.
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Old 05-28-2007, 02:05 PM   #5
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One way I make my fresh tomatoes more flavorful is to oven roast them before making them into a sauce.

Just generously brush the bottom of a rimmed baking sheet or shallow roasting pan with olive oil. Evenly sprinkle salt and freshly ground black pepper over the oiled surface.

Slice the tomatoes in half, lengthwise, and place the cut sides down on the seasoned oil. Brush the skins of the tomatoes with olive oil and sprinkle salt and freshly ground black pepper over them.

Bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for about 30 minutes. When cool enough to touch, "pinch" off the skins and discard skins. Use everything else in the pan to make sauce.
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Old 05-28-2007, 02:11 PM   #6
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Thanks Katie - I'll have to give that a try this summer IF I can find some really good home-grown tomatoes!
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Old 05-28-2007, 02:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitchenelf
Thanks Katie - I'll have to give that a try this summer IF I can find some really good home-grown tomatoes!
Believe it or not, it does wonders with mediocre tomatoes, too. I'll be you would be pleasantly surprised. I know I was.

I'm going to have plenty of tomatoes since my Romas are beginning to bear now. Can't wait. I plan on canning lots of oven-roasted tomato sauce. My basil is looking good, too. That goes in my home-canned sauce as well.
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Old 05-29-2007, 11:35 AM   #8
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When I have really fresh garden tomatoes and fresh herbs, I only cook my sauce for 10 min or so.

You get a fresher taste that way.
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Old 05-29-2007, 12:17 PM   #9
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Welcome to DC! Here's a recipe that I always like. I always at least double the recipe and you can also substitute peeled, seeded garden tomatoes, if you have them.

Basic Tomato Sauce


1 can of the best plum tomatoes you can find (recommended: Muir Glen)
2 cloves garlic, minced
c white wine
About 10 basil leaves, chiffonade
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil

In a skillet (not a sauce pan!), heat about 3 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic, cook for a minute or so. OFF the heat, add white wine, increase the heat to medium-high, and reduce the wine to a Tbsp or so. Add the canned tomatoes, crushing them up with a spoon; add half the basil. Leave the heat on medium-high. Let the sauce simmer until it thickens, usually only about 10-15 minutes. Add rest of basil and salt and pepper to taste.
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