Friday, December 20, 2013

Back to Basics: Marinara Sauce

Happy Friday!  Hope you all are having a fabulous start to the holiday weekend!  I had a crazy week at work with two client meetings, but I managed to get out of the office a little bit early today.  I got so many errands done between 3pm and 5pm--mailing holiday gifts, getting renters' insurance, shopping for more holiday gifts, and then working out.  I felt accomplished--especially after a week of staying late at the office.

I wanted a cozy night in after finishing all my errands, especially because I have holiday parties and other events throughout the weekend.  Pasta, particularly pasta with marinara sauce, is an ultimate comfort food for me.

Every person should know how to make a marinara sauce.  It is so easy to do, yet it throughly impresses people when you can whip ups some homemade marinara instead of relying on Prego, Trader Joe's or some other store bought brand. This recipe is my favorite because: it is ready in under 45 minutes, requires opening up a bottle of red wine (which means you just must have a glass or two with dinner), is vegetarian, and freezes nicely.

I added roasted garlic chicken sausage from Trader Joe's to the sauce when I added in the canned tomatoes, parsley, salt, and black pepper.  It's a great way to add some protein in!

Marinara Sauce
from Ina Garten (makes 6 servings)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 cup good red wine, like Chianti
1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large (at least 12-inch) skillet.  Add the onion and sautÄ— over medium heat until translucent (basically, move the onions around in the pan every once in a while).  This should take 5-10 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
  3. Add the wine and cook on high heat, scraping up all the brown bits in the pan, until almost all the liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes. 
  4. Stir in the tomatoes, parsley, salt, and pepper.  Cover, and simmer on the lowest heat for 15 minutes.

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