How To Make The Best Marinara Ever
Real Napolitan Tomato Sauce
One cannot help but love a good marinara sauce. The ingredients are simple, the recipe is easy, and the outcome is a healthy sauce that is the base of many Mediterranean dishes.
The Best Marinara Ever is the Basic Tomato Sauce of Naples, Italy. Here a few simple tips on how to blanch tomatoes, make tomato paste, and make the best Italian marinara ever.
Tomatoes Make The Sauce
My Napolitan Marinara Sauce Recipe
Marinara can be as simple or as complex as desired. Basic marinara is comprised of tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, basil, and salt. Variations include adding oregano, rosemary, and thyme. I've learned that in some areas of Italy, roasted red pepper is pureed and added to marinara to sweeten the sauce.
Below is how I prepared over 200 farm fresh, vine ripened Roma tomatoes for sauce. To make the task easier, once the tomatoes were blanched I froze some of them whole, and made marinara sauce with the rest of them. Small batch quantities of 2-3 quarts at a time made the task less arduous for me.
TOMATO PREPARATION: Bring a stock pot half filled with water to a boil. Place about twenty-thirty tomatoes in boiling water for approximately 10 minutes or until skins split on the tomatoes.
Remove tomatoes from water, place in a draining basket or colander to cool. Remove skins and set aside - do not throw them away yet. Repeat process until all your tomatoes are blanched and peeled and ready to store.
At this point, you can make the sauce now or later. Once the tomatoes are blanched, you can freeze the whole tomatoes in freezer bags or one quart Ball Canning/Freezer Jars. If desired, make marinara sauce from some of the tomatoes and use, can, or freeze the sauce.
FRESH TOMATO PASTE: Remember the tomato skins? Get a teaspoon and scrape the skins' red pulp into a dish. My basket of tomatoes yielded about one small can of paste. Great for flavoring or thickening your favorite sauce.
FRESH MARINARA SAUCE: 1/8 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Fresh Garlic (1-2 cloves chopped, sliced, shaved, however you like.), Sea Salt, Basil.
Heat olive oil and garlic, salt, and basil on low in a medium saucepan to infuse the oil. Be careful not to brown garlic. The olive oil is infused when you can smell the herbs together. Remove pan from heat and fill pan with blanched Roma tomatoes. Hand squish whole cooked tomatoes into the infused oil until well mixed. Bring to heat. Cook as little or as long as desired. The basic marinara is now ready to eat, freeze, can, or use as a basic component of other recipes.
AFFORDABLE INGREDIENTS:One bushel of tomatoes cost $8.50 direct from the farmer. The two fresh clumps of garlic were $1.00. The olive oil was about $5.00. My yield was approximately 40+ cups of marinara and whole tomatoes.
MARINARA IS VERSATILE: Although Marinara is the base of many Mediterranean recipes is good just the way it is. One of my favorite ways is hot served with hot crusty ciabatta bread.
Fresh Tomato Paste
Marinara Makes A Good Meal
Marinara meals are affordable and good for you. When making sauce from scratch, it is always best if the ingredients are as fresh as possible.
Marinara sauce goes well with most vegetable based meals. For example, Marinara Sauce goes well with Baby Eggplant (baked or sauteed in EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), rapini (broccoli rabe), and a side of hot crusty ciabatta bread.
Baby Eggplant Marinara - This is how I prepared my Baby Eggplant for Marinara.Click thumbnail to view full-size
How To Make Rapini - Rapini is a wonderful side dish.Click thumbnail to view full-size
A View From Napoli
Many good recipes begin with a basic marinara sauce. More will be added here, and you are welcome to add yours here, too. Thank you for stopping by.