It’s been a good year for the garden and we’ve had a ton of tomatoes come in at once. We’ve made lots of salsa, gazpacho, tomato soup… it was time to turn what I had in the kitchen into sauce. We live in NJ, the land of amazing Italian food, where homemade marinara is pretty easy to come by. Everyone and their mother has their favorite recipe around here, Italians and non-Italians alike.
My favorite? The simple kind without too many herbs and spices where you can really taste the fresh tomatoes. 5 cloves of garlic + 2 chopped onions + a few glugs of olive oil + several good shakes of oregano + a dash of cayenne pepper + salt and pepper to taste + a whole lot of fresh tomatoes.
I cut an X into the bottom of each tomato, dropped them into boiling water for 30-60 seconds, then a bowl of ice water for 30 seconds. The skins came of easily, I cored and seeded each one working in batches.
In my dutch oven I cooked the garlic and onion in the olive oil until golden, then added the tomatoes. When the tomatoes turned to mush I added the spices and then pureed everything with my immersion blender (though this can also be done in a cuisinart, blender, or a food mill if you’re a purist). Then I let the sauce simmer on low and reduce until it was nice and thick.
The color is bright orange without tomato paste. The spices enhance the flavor of the tomatoes without overwhelming them. The sauce tastes very fresh and it freezes well for future use.