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Since I haven’t mentioned this for a while, I thought I’d make another plug for opting for homemade instead of store-bought food.  It takes a little more time, but it’s infinitely better on your body and your psyche.  Any time you can avoid ingredients made in a lab in lieu of something that comes from the soil is a good thing.

I’ve wanted to try my hand at homemade marinara sauce for a while but just hadn’t gotten around to it.  Probably because I rarely eat cooked, tomato-based anything.  But I still think it’s a valuable sauce to know how to make.  And beside the fact that homemade is better for you, it tastes so much better too…and real.  Any store-bought, processed, long-shelf-life taste is removed and the real ingredients shine through.

Homemade Marinara Sauce (adapted from the blog Indochine Kitchen)

Makes about 2 1/2 cups

  • 1 pint grape tomatoes (or 3-4 regular medium tomatoes)
  • 1/2 stalk celery, chopped finely
  • 1/2 onion, chopped finely
  • 1/2 carrot, chopped finely
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp kosher/sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 large basil leaves (optional)

Get a medium pot of water boiling and then thoroughly wash the tomatoes.  Cook them whole in boiling water for about 15 minutes (30 minutes for larger tomatoes.) Lower the heat to a simmer and continue cooking until the skins start to come off.  This took only a few minutes for my small tomatoes.  Take the tomatoes out and peel them.  Reserve the cooking water.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat and cook the onion and garlic for 5 minutes.  Add the chopped celery and carrot and cook for another 10-15 minutes, until all the ingredients are soft.

Add the tomatoes, bay leaf, salt and pepper, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 45 minutes.  Cook until the sauce is thick.

Remove the bay leaf.  Transfer the mixture to a food processor and if it’s really thick, like mine was, add a little of the reserved cooking water.  I used a few tablespoons.  Add the basil leaves if you’re using them and pulse it all together until you reach the consistency you want.  I wanted mine just a little chunky.

And that, my friends, is all.

Oh boy, is this stuff good.  I’m not even the biggest fan of marinara, but if I’m going to eat it I think I’m spoiled by the homemade stuff now.

And soon I shall reveal how I used the sauce.  Stay tuned!