I practically lived on marinara sauce in college. Besides eating it on pasta, I dunked bread into it, dunked vegetables into it, dunked my pizza crusts in it… pretty much, if there was a food I was planning to eat, I wanted it with a side of marinara sauce. And really, for a college diet, I certainly could have done a lot worse.
Not surprisingly, this was one of the first things I learned to make when I finally started cooking for myself. I made mushroom marinara sauce, eggplant marinara sauce, shrimp marinara sauce, and I’m sure plenty of others that I’ve forgotten by now. I fell in love with San Marzano tomatoes after learning on the food network that they are the gold standard of canned tomatoes. Now, every time they’re on sale, I fill a whole grocery basket and get a major arm workout lugging them home.
Any time I’m making a tomato sauce/soup recipe, I always buy whole peeled tomatoes and just roughly chop them myself. I love getting big hunks of tomato in my sauces, but if you want smaller pieces, you can use a food processor to cut them smaller. I like getting them whole because I can make sure no skins get into the sauce — maybe this is a weird picky thing on my part, but to me there’s nothing grosser than tomato skins in marinara sauce. I used this as one component in a (forthcoming) dish for a dinner party, but I couldn’t resist setting a cup aside for me to dunk chunks of bread in. Delicious.
2 (28 ounce) cans of san marzano whole peeled tomatoes
1 medium size white onion, diced
4 medium or large cloves of garlic, chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp dried basil, or 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 tsp dried oregano (or fresh, probably around 2 tbsp chopped)
1 can tomato paste
1/2 cup red wine
1. In a large stock pot, saute onions and garlic in olive oil. Add salt, pepper, paprika, basil and oregano when onion are translucent.
2. Add sauce from tomato cans. Roughly chop each tomato and add to pot. Simmer 10 minutes.
3. Add tomato paste and red wine. Simmer 10-15 minutes, or until sauce is thickened. Remove from heat, and serve or refrigerate for later use.
Makes about 8 cups of sauce.