When tomatoes are at their peak and prices are low, it’s time to make a big batch of marinara sauce for the freezer. Having a supply of marinara sauce on hand can be a great help on a busy day. In less time than it takes to have a pizza delivered, you can boil a pot of pasta water and warm up the sauce. To please the vegetarians in your life, add sautéed mushrooms or eggplant to the pasta or, for meat lovers, Italian sausage, ground beef, or pancetta. The recipe can be easily multiplied, so stock up!
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 small carrot, coarsely chopped
- 1 small yellow onion, coarsely chopped
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/3 cup dry red wine
- 5 pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped, juices reserved, or 2 cans (28 ounces each) diced or crushed tomatoes, with their juice
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil, or 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, or 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or ½ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
- 1 to 2 teaspoons sugar (optional)
1. Place the garlic and carrot in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the onion and continue to pulse until minced, scraping the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula occasionally.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-low heat. Add the onion mixture and cook, stirring frequently, until soft but not browned, about 11 minutes. Add the wine and stir well, loosening any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced slightly, about 3 minutes.
3. Add the tomatoes and their juices to the pot. Add the basil, oregano, and thyme and let simmer gently until the flavors are concentrated, 35 to 45 minutes. Add the salt and pepper. Taste for sweetness and, if the sauce tastes too acidic, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of sugar. If you are not planning on using the sauce immediately, let it cool to room temperature. It can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months.
Nutritional information is based on 10 servings.