Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Crowd Pleasing Marinara

   What goes better with meatballs than a classic marinara?  Nothing is the correct answer to that question!  There is something incredibly comforting about a basic red sauce.  And when it is made from scratch, it is amazing.  This sauce is really easy and almost impossible to mess up.  There is nothing crazy happening in this sauce so it is great for everyone (even little kids... but maybe don't use the wine, although, it does cook down.)

   This is the sauce I made for our big spaghetti dinner.  This recipe makes a lot of sauce.  Even if you aren't having a lot of people over go ahead and make a full batch because it does take a while (so worth it though.)  Marinara freezes great.  To freeze, portion out in plastic ware, spread a little olive oil on plastic wrap, and place on surface of sauce.  This will prevent freezer burn and keep your marinara safe for about 6 weeks.  (Unless you have an awesome freezer... then it will keep longer.)
Simple Marinara 2 lrg carrots, diced
1 lrg onion, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
4 lrg cloves garlic, minced
2 28oz cans crushed tomatoes
1 1/4 C water
3/4 C red wine (don't have wine?  use water + an extra Tbsp of balsamic)
1 bouillon cube (veg, chicken, or beef... doesn't matter)
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 bay leaves
1.5 tsp dried oregano
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

   Heat some olive oil (about 2 Tbsp) in a large pot over medium/med-low heat.  Cook vegetables down until very soft but not carmelized; about 15-20 min.  Add garlic, cook 2-3 minutes.  Add all other ingredients (except salt and pepper.)  Bring to a boil over med-high heat, boil for roughly 10 minutes.  Turn heat down to low, partially cover with lid, simmer for 2-3 hours.  Salt and pepper to taste.
   Serves 10-12.

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