Monday, July 9, 2012

Marinara Sauce

a vegan dish

I feel like I'm two entries away from turning my site into a food blog.  The last two stuff I posted were recipes and here I am about to post yet another recipe.  Sure, I say a little something before I begin listing ingredients but, other than talk about the dish I just cooked, I don't really talk say anything revealing about my current frame of mind.

I'll try to do that before posting the recipe.  Bear with me here: this is a personal blog; not a cookbook.

Anyway, Mama and I did some grocery shopping last night.  Yeah, it's 12 in the morning now so I guess the expression "last night" is in order.  I didn't buy anything particularly notable--just the usual fruits, veggies, spices and condiments--except I bagged like, a kilo of tomatoes.  At home, I ended up with a storage predicament.  I didn't know where to put them since my vegetable compartment had already been stuffed with heads of broccoli and cauliflower, potatoes, basil stalks, carrots, cucumbers, oranges, limes and bulbs of garlic.  As a solution, I decided to cook marinara sauce.  Yeah, baby!

So, here's recipe #3!


Marinara Sauce

Marinara sauce is an Italian style tomato-based sauce best consumed with spaghetti, spaghettini, cheese sticks, bread sticks, and flat breads like chapati, pita and naan.

If you follow the recipe strictly, you'll come up with a bowl of sauce that would serve:

- 5 to 7 people if you use it as a dip for finger food like bread sticks and cheese sticks, or
- 3 to 5 people if you use it for pasta or for flat bread

You will need:

- 3 normal sized western tomatoes (or 5 medium sized Roma/Bangalore tomatoes), peeled and coarsely chopped
- 2 normal sized western tomatoes (or 3 medium sized Roma/Bangalore tomatoes), blended into a paste
- 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh parsley (1/2 if dried)
- 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh marjoram/oregano (1 teaspoon if dried)
- 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh basil (1 teaspoon if dried but it makes a huge difference because you will really want fresh basil for this recipe)
- 1/3 cup finely diced onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper
- 7 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1/2 cup of water

To make it:

1. Pour two tablespoons of olive oil onto a pan over medium heat.
2. Sauté the diced onion for about a minute to sweat it but make sure it doesn't burn.  Remove the onion from the pan afterwards and set it aside.
3. Pour the rest of the olive oil onto the pan, followed by the garlic which you need to sauté for 3 minutes as well.
4. Drop the chopped tomatoes in and agitate them around the pan for about 3 minutes.
5. Add in the parsley, marjoram and basil, and mix in.
6. Bring the heat to low and cover for 5 minutes with occasional stirring.
7. Stir in the tomato paste, water, and salt.
8. Cover for five minutes and stir in the salt afterwards.
9. Simmer gently with occasional stirring for 10 minutes or until most of the water has evaporated and the sauce is thick enough to qualify as a pasta sauce.  You be the judge.

NOTE: If you're going to use this sauce for pasta, use it as it is.  However, if you're going to use it as a dip for bread sticks and cheese sticks or if you want to put it on your flat bread, you may want to add in a teaspoon of flour to thicken it a little and to give it a paste-like consistency which would help it stick to bread.  Of course, dissolve the flour in a little cold water before stirring in.  The best time to do this is after simmering.  You may use less than a teaspoon of flour but never more than that.