Today, I took advantage of my Presiden't Day off from work and made homemade marinara sauce. My mom recently told me about this delicious homemade marinara sauce from Giada de Laurentiis and well, mothers know best, so I put the ingredients on my grocery list! : ) I don't know about you, but the jarred pasta sauce from the grocery store can get old after awhile, tasting sugary and watered down. This marinara sauce tastes fresh and wonderful. The recipe calls for finely chopped vegetables which makes the sauce a little more thick and chunky. I enjoyed this texture, but if you want a smoother texture or if you are trying to get your kids to eat their veggies, you could certainly puree the sauce in a blender or food processor. I served it over traditional spaghetti with fresh grated parmesan cheese on top. The possibilites are endless though for what you could use this basic sauce with. You could pair it with any pasta, over stuffed pasta shells or use it for lasagna or pizza. I made a single batch this time, because I wanted to make sure it was good. Next time, I will make a double batch and freeze the leftovers in 2 cup portions for TC and I. I was certainly surprised by how simple it was to make my own marinara sauce and I was very happy with the taste. I'm looking forward to using this recipe instead of buying jarred sauce from the store.
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 (32 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 dried bay leaf
In a large pot, heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Add the onions and garlic and saute until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the celery, carrots, salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bay leaf, and simmer uncovered over low leat until the sauce thickens, about 1 hour. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Season the sauce with more salt and pepper, to taste.
Puree in a blender or food processor if you prefer a smoother texture.
The sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, then cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium heat before using.
To freeze, allow the extra sauce to cool completely, then pour two-cup portions into freezer bags and freeze for up to 3 months.
***Recipe from Giada de Laurentiis, Everyday Italian