Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Semi-Homemade Marinara Sauce

Let’s face it, sometimes you simply do not have enough time to make everything from scratch. Marinara is one such dish for me. By beginning with a big old can of diced tomatoes (I use Hunt’s Diced with Basil and Oregano), you are way ahead of the power curve. The key to this particular dish is the use of fresh herbs, right off my deck and out of my backyard. If you do not have access to fresh herbs, you can substitute dry. When using dried instead of fresh herbs, use only 1/3 to 1/2 as much as dried herbs are so much more potent than fresh.

I use this marinara sauce over spaghetti or pasta and entrees of all sorts. For an example go to my Italian and Parmesan Stuffed Breasts (click on this link for recipe)that are served over corn pasta.

Here is my recipe:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup red wine
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes, in juice
1/4 teaspoon salt to taste
1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, finely chopped
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 bay leaves

Here is how I made this dish:
1. Place olive oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic; saute' until onion is clear, approximately 8 to 10 minutes.

2. Place cornstarch in small mixing bowl. Slowly add red wine to cornstarch stirring constantly; mix until smooth with no lumps.

3. Add cornstarch mixture, tomatoes, bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Turn heat to medium; simmer until sauce thickens, about 1 hour.

4. Remove and discard bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Add additional salt, if needed.

Author's Notes: 
1. Marinara sauce may be made up to 3 days ahead, if kept refrigerated in air tight container.

2. Use cotton cord to tie thyme sprigs together for easy removal.

Servings: 6                     Yield: 3.6 cups

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Nutrition (per serving): 195 calories, 160 calories from fat, 18.7 g total fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 148.7 mg sodium, 91.2 mg potassium, 6.2 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 1.4 g sugar, 1 g protein.

Author: Dr. Jacquelyn P. Horne
Copyright: 2013

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