How to Make Marinara Like a Professional
5 Easy Steps
Ingedients: 1 Can Peeled Plum Tomatoes (102 oz)
12 Cloves Garlic
1 Large Yellow (or Spanish) Onion
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
2 Sprigs of Fresh Rosemary
5 Sprigs of Fresh Thyme
15 Large Fresh Basil Leaves
1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley
2 Dried Bay Leaves
2 Tablespoons Baking Soda
2 Cups Red Wine
Salt and Pepper
1. Finely chop the garlic and onion,then place them in the bottom of your saucepot with the olive oil. Simmer until the onions and garlic are translucent (almost see-through). If you prefer a roasted garlic marinara, brown the onions and garlic slightly.
2. Add the red wine. I prefer a cheap merlot for my marinara, but any red will do. Deglaze the mixture (simmer until the wine has mostly evaporated and become thicker and darker). Add the whole can of tomatoes and a cup of water. I use the water to rinse the last of the tomato goodness from the can before adding it to the sauce.
3. Take the sprigs of Rosemary and Thyme as well as the bay leaves and wrap them snugly in the cheesecloth. I also throw 2 teaspoons of whole black peppercorns into the sachet (cheesecloth bundle), but if you only have ground pepper it can easily be added later. Make sure the sachet won't fall apart in the sauce, and plunge it right down into the mix.
4. Bring the sauce to a slow boil (I suggest doing this on low heat, to prevent any burned sauce in the bottom of the pot). Let the mixture simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. Remove from heat, pull and discard the sachet. Add the baking soda (to reduce acidity).
5. Chop the basil and parsley and add it to the cooling sauce, as well as salt and pepper (if you didn't put peppercorns in the sachet) to your preferred taste. I recommend 1-2 teaspoons of pepper and 1-2 tablespoons kosher or sea salt (some salts such as iodized will affect the overall flavor of the sauce, while kosher or sea salt blends more seamlessly). To smooth out the sauce, a food processor or hand mixer can be used, but I prefer to use a small potato masher to crush the tomatoes and keep the sauce chunky.
6. Enjoy your creation! Impress your friends! Tell them it's your grandmother's recipe! They will believe you :)