Marinara Sauce

I adapted this recipe from one I found on the Williams-Sonoma website.

  • 2.5 lb. tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. oregano
  • 2 Tbsp. basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

This is the point in the recipe where I attempted to puree the tomatoes using the infamous Martha Stewart food mill (see below). Because the spinning part is about half an inch from the bottom, it took me almost an HOUR to smash the tomatoes completely, and no matter what I did I still had chunks left over. I would have been better off using my blender.

The original recipe tells you to first sauté the garlic in the olive oil, add the remaining ingredients and cook on the stove top (add the basil at the very end). Since I didn’t feel like slaving over the stove, I threw everything in my Crock-Pot (set on High) and did something else for four hours.

The Crock-Pot method worked well for the most part, but I will make some changes for my next batch of sauce. When cooking with a Crock-Pot there is no reduction, so the sauce was really runny; next time I’ll crack the lid open a bit. Also, there was really no point in adding any olive oil; it just floated there on top. Finally, I will not add the basil until the end of cooking.

I froze most of the sauce and put the remainder in the fridge to eat later. The sauce reheated and reduced nicely on the stove top a few days later. I added some fresh sliced shiitakes from the farmers’ market (buy the ugly ones, they’re cheaper). This sauce was yummy with some pasta and fresh parmesan.

This is a great thing to make in a big batch on a lazy Sunday afternoon and freeze it for later. Cooking in a Crock-Pot allows you to ignore it while it’s cooking, without burning the place down.

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