"The" Marinara Sauce

Every Italian woman takes pride in her sauces, and I am no different. I think that my sauce is the bee's knees. Making sauce is like making something that hugs you from the inside-- you are sharing something very intimate with those you love. There is nothing better than a hearty, yummy red sauce.

The great thing about this sauce, and part of the reason I am sharing it with you, dear reader, is that you can use it in so many recipes. Sure, there are lots of ways to skin a cat, and so too, many ways to make a red sauce. Once you tackle the general concepts, you might even start to feel adventurous enough to add your own "flare" to the sauce. Until then, use this recipe because it won't fail ya!

You'll need the usual players: 




A note on the carrots--they are an awesome replacement for sugar. You will find many Italian red sauce recipes will call for sugar to cut down on the acidity of the tomatoes. This is the better (and healthier) trick! 

I put them all in the food processor to cut them down to size. Then, I threw them in this pot and sautéed them in oil olive to soften 'em up a bit. 

Get your can of tomatoes and then process them in the food processor as well. Throw em in the pot with some tomato paste.... 

Don't forget your spices! 

Bellisima!!! Now cover and let this baby cook for at least a couple of hours, and you'll have a sauce that will be so good it'll make you wanna smack your mama!!! 

Time: 2 1/2 hours, more if ya got it | Makes about 4 cups | Difficulty: Easy to Medium 

You Will Need:

4 cloves garlic
1 carrot, peeled 
1 onion, quartered
2 tablespoons olive oil
1- 28 ounce can of plum tomatoes 
1- 6 ounce can of tomato paste 
1 1/2 cups water
3 dashes cayenne pepper
1 palmful of salt 
1 teaspoon dried oregano 
pepper to taste 


In your food processor, place the garlic, onion and carrot. Pulse them about 10 times for 2 seconds each to get them chopped rather finely. 

In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat. Add the carrots, onion, and garlic and cook about 6 minutes or until onions are translucent. 

While they are cooking, place your can of tomatoes in the food processor and pulse about 10 times to chop the tomatoes. 

Add the chopped tomatoes to the pot along with the tomato paste, water, cayenne pepper, salt, and oregano. Stir to combine and allow it come to a boil. 

Reduce heat, cover and simmer the sauce on a low heat for at least 2 hours. The thing about the sauce is that the longer the flavors have to combine, the better it will taste. Under that premise, you can let this sauce go all day, or even make it the day before. 

If you do make the sauce the day before, be sure to bring it as close to room temperature as you can before you refrigerate it. Otherwise, if you stick it in the fridge while it's still hot, it can effect the taste. Same goes for freezing--and this sauce freezes well. 

Also a note for those who like a very smooth sauce, or have a recipe where a smooth sauce may be more appropriate, you can use an inversion blender (or traditional blender) to smooth the finished sauce. 

Serve on pasta, use for meatballs, on cabbage rolls, meatloaf, or in lasagna. However you use it, you are sure to enjoy it! 

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