Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Making Marinara

There are a whole lot of cherry tomatoes in my garden. This year I'm trying really hard not to waste any of my garden produce. The tomato plants I bought this year were miss-marked so I ended up with four cherry tomato plants, two golden and two red...hubby doesn't really care for tomatoes and the yield of four plants is a bit much for just lil' ol me.
I decided to try to make marinara, what the heck...never done it before - thought I'd give it a whirl. I'm two batches in, the first one was a little bitter, the second is a bit too sweet...this weekend I should have more ripe tomatoes so I think the third batch should be just right...sounds a little bit "Three Bears" doesn't it?

I looked online for marinara recipes that I could freeze, I combined three different ones and thought I'd post the recipe just in case there is anyone else out there with a garden full of tomatoes and a little bit of time to putter in the kitchen.

This Old Farm Marinara
10 cups cherry tomatoes, a mix of gold and red
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 yellow onions, chopped
2 tablespoons garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup dried parsley flakes
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 bay leaves

Heat the olive oil in a large pan, I use an 8 qt Belgique...add the onions and saute for about five minutes, add the garlic and saute for another 4-5 minutes.
While you saute the onions and garlic, put the washed uncooked tomatoes into a blender in batches - blend on medium speed for a minute. When you have blended all of your tomatoes strain out the seeds with a piece of cheesecloth. Add the blended tomatoes to the sauteed onions and garlic, add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for a couple of hours, stirring every fifteen minutes or so - just make sure it doesn't scorch. I simmered mine for about three hours because I wanted to reduce it a bit to make a thicker sauce.
Cool and freeze!
In a couple of weeks my spaghetti squash should be ready ;)
Spahgetti squash, homemade marinara and fresh parmesan.

****If I was using regular size tomatoes I would have peeled and seeded the tomatoes, a ridiculous task with cherry tomatoes. The first batch of marinara I made I just quartered the tomatoes and threw them in the pot...the seeds in the sauce made it quite bitter - there is a remarkable difference in taste when you strain out the seeds... do it, it's worth the little bit of effort it takes.

1 comment:

quilly said...

The seeds are horribly bitter and straining the seeds with a bit of cheese cloth isn't all that hard. If one uses just one taut piece of cheese cloth little juice is lost and any yummy bits of tomato can be lifted off and put back in the sauce.

I usually rubberband the cheese cloth over the top of a bowl. I had a friend who made herself a bunch of cheese cloth sacks. She used them for extracting seeds from berries for her jelly making. After using them they'd just go in the wash with her hand towels and dish rags.