Once again, Food 52 breaks down in 5 easy steps the how-to on putting together some of the foods we use most in the kitchen. Today’s ‘Not Recipe’ – marinara sauce! Once you master the base of this sauce you can infuse other ingredients in to add depth and flavor to your dishes. I like to start with a simple marinara and add in lemon juice and a bit of zest to complement a shrimp pasta that’s a favorite around my house. The author suggests adding anchovies to sautéed’ garlic, reducing your tomatoes and then throwing in chopped capers and chopped pitted olives to make a quick Puttanesca. Mmmmm.
So, let’s get started…
#1. Finely chop some garlic (4 Cloves is a good baseline but let your taste buds be the guide).
#2. Prepare your tomatoes. If your cooking during the Summer and Fall months try to use ripe, locally grown tomatoes for the freshest taste. If you have none available, a high quality brand of canned tomatoes will do the job just fine. If you go with canned, drain the tomatoes to avoid an overly watery sauce. Look for tomatoes canned in their own juices, not tomato sauce – preferably with no added salt or seasonings. If using whole tomatoes, carefully crush them by hand.
#3. Add olive oil to your pan and begin sautéing garlic over low eat. When the chopped cloves become soft and fragrant, stir in your prepared tomatoes.
#4. Turn up the heat and let the tomatoes reduce and thicken. Add in a handful of fresh herbs like basil and parsley, stalks and all, and allow them to poach in the sauce.
#5. If your marinara appears too thick, add in some pasta water or reserved tomato juices to achieve a good consistency. Remove herb stalks and leaves – add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
Where you go from here is up to you! Serve the sauce over pasta as is or use it to enhance a homemade pizza, eggplant or chicken parmigiana.