Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Recipe: Simple Marinara Sauce Using Low Cost Ingredients

Prior to becoming a vegetarian in late 2007, one of my favorite tomato sauces to make was the marinara sauce from the magazine, Cooking Light. I haven't made Cooking Light's version of marinara sauce since becoming a vegetarian because the recipe calls for the use of chicken broth. When I look at that recipe now, I wonder why I hadn't realized the oddity of adding chicken broth for something that traditionally has been made from fresh earth-based ingredients, such as ripe tomatoes, garlic, and herbs.

Tonight, I made the marinara sauce below. It comes from an episode of Tyler Florence's Food Network show, "Food 911." I chose this sauce to make because it was simple and permitted the use of basic dried herbs. (I have a lot of dried herbs that I need/want to use up.) The end result was a very tasty tomato sauce with just the right amount of denseness. I plan on using this sauce for tomorrow night's planned dinner, so stay tuned.

Marinara Sauce
Makes about 3 cups

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 whole bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot and add the onions and the garlic. Sprinkle about a 1/2 teaspoon of salt over the onions and continue cooking the onions until they become soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes and bay leaf. Stir in the oregano, basil, and sugar. Turn the heat down to low and simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. (You might want to consider using a splatter guard over your pot.) Add pepper and additional salt, to taste.

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