Macking Marinara

If you want to have folk macking on you for your cooking skills, this is an easy recipe to make a great impression. Just try it yourself a few times to get the balance right, then bust it out for a date or dinner party.

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Food Stuff:
Onion (½ a medium one — ish)
Garlic (depends how much you like…)
3-4 Medium Carrots diced or sliced into thin rounds
1 Large can crushed tomatoes
3-4 small or 1-2 large Whole Tomatoes, chopped
Italian seasoning (basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, marjoram)
Memphis BBQ Seasoning (or salt, pepper, and paprika)
Olive oil
Red wine
Pasta & garlic bread, or whatever you like with red sauce

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Tools needed:
Large pot
Fork
Spoon
Knife
Immersion blender (optional)

Make It:
Heat a healthy amount of olive oil in the pot. Add onions and carrots. After a minute or two, add garlic. Cook together for a couple minutes (until fragrant and onions become translucent). Add in some red wine and stir to deglaze the pot. Add in crushed and fresh tomatoes and a couple healthy shakes of each spice mix (If you don’t have a seasoning mix, you’ll have to find a bit of a balance over time. Err on the side of fewer spices, you can always add more later.). Stir and bring to bubbling. Reduce heat to low and simmer for a couple hours. After 1-2 hours, taste and add more spice (or wine) as desired. After seasoned, remove from heat, let cool slightly, and blend with an immersion blender (this step is optional, just know that you’ll have a pretty chunky sauce if you don’t blend it).
Cook pasta and garlic bread, or whatever you’re having with your sauce, and enjoy.

Things I Learned:

  • Blending not only smooths the sauce, it adds a bit of volume to boost the amount of sauce you end up with.
  • The smaller the carrot slices, the easier it is to blend. Even so, you may end up with some carrot chucks. Embrace it.
  • You can add celery too, like a mirepoix, but fresh celery can add quite a strong flavor so I suggest only using one stalk if you choose to use it, and chop it very fine and be sure to blend the sauce at the end.
  • This is obviously a loose recipe. This is what I’ve found works for me and I don’t measure anything apart from using the large can of crushed tomatoes. You can use some stock in place of wine if you want, too. Experiment and find what tastes good to you.
  • General ‘pro’ tip: If you’re serving sauce immediately after cooking over pasta, make it more awesome by doing the following:
    Cook pasta until just under al dente. Before draining, reserve about a half cup of the pasta water. In a pan, add sauce and a splash of pasta water. Add drained pasta and cook, stirring frequently and adding more sauce and/or pasta water to get desired taste/consistency.
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