My dad made doughboys the other day (fried dough), and instead of dusting them with powdered sugar, he wanted to dip them in marinara sauce and make it his lunch. Usually, we just defrost and heat up a jar of Sunday sauce (I freeze my sauce in Ball jars). We usually make enough sauce to freeze and use later when we’re in a pinch or too tired to cook. I always freeze some for my grandkids, because pasta is their number one meal.
Our family isn’t usually big on marinara. My grandmother never really made just a marinara sauce. She always cooked meat in her sauce, pepperoni mostly, with meatballs and sausage and sometimes chicken or braciole on Sunday. She used this sauce in just about everything she made, sometimes with the meat removed after it was cooked in and flavored the tomato sauce.
Dad’s marinara sauce is an easy recipe. He uses fresh garlic and onion and dried herbs to flavor the sauce. At one time, it was popular in Naples to add chopped carrots and a little bit of celery to the sauce, but we add only tomatoes with garlic and onion. The tomatoes, I think, are best when they’re crushed by hand. The little bits and pieces of tomato that slip through your fingers when crushed gives the sauce a more rustic flavor and appearance. I usually open the can and crush the tomatoes over the pot of hot olive oil and simmering garlic and onion, and then let it cook for at least an hour.
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic
- ½ onion diced (sweet)
- 2, 28-ounce cans of peeled plum tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ½ cup wine, white or red
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a sauce pan over medium heat. Sauté the garlic until brown then remove and set aside. Sauté the onions for five to ten minutes.
- Crush the tomatoes by hand or puree in a blender. Squeeze the garlic through a garlic press and add to the tomato mixture. Add all spices. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook on low heat until all spices are blended and the sauce is cooked down. Makes approximately eight cups.