Fresh Marinara
Fresh Marinara Sauce

When the tomatoes are ripe in my garden, this is my first summer tomato dish.  Always so yummy.

 

6 large-ish ripe tomatoes

3 tablespoons Garlic Olive Oil, plus more for drizzling

1 1/4 cup chopped yellow or red onions

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

6-8 fresh basil leaves

Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Cut a 2-inch X in the bottom of each tomato and cut out the core on the top.  Place the tomatoes in the water and simmer 1 minute (I do half the tomatoes at a time).  Lift out and place in a deep bowl of cold water for a minute or two to cool.  Peel the loosened skin off the tomatoes and cut in half horizontally.  Squeeze most of the juice and seeds out of the tomato halves and discard.  Dice the tomato pulp in 1 inch chunks.

In a large saucepan, saute the onions in the Garlic Olive Oil over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute 30 seconds more.  

Put the tomatoes in a food processor (half at a time if necessary) and add the onion/garlic mixture, salt, pepper and pepper flakes if using.  Pulse until you like the texture.  I like it chunky, but you can make it as smooth as you like.  

Pour the sauce back into the saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and partially cover with a lid to keep it from spattering.  Simmer until the sauce is the thickness you like, stirring several times, about 20-25 minutes.

Finely slice the basil and stir into the hot sauce.  Let it continue to simmer for 5 minutes for the basil flavor to permeate.  Remove from the heat.

Serve with our Garlic Angel Hair Pasta or your favorite pasta, and top with grated Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.

Makes about 3 cups of sauce.

* You can personalize your sauce by adding thyme, oregano, rosemary, etc.  If you add them early in the cooking process, be sure to save some to add at the end since the herbs will need to be freshened up to taste really good.  Basil is particularly delicate; I just add it at the end and don't cook it much.  

Once the sauce is done, you can add meatballs or other protein and cook another ten minutes, adding a little water if necessary.