Here in Texas we are getting to that time when tomato growing season is coming to an end. With that being said, I have been making a lot of tomato based dishes. I love to experiment with this precious fruit because the tomato is so versatile in your cooking. They can be pan-fried, stewed, sauced, and just left alone in their own sweet, succulent self.
Different varieties can be played in different ways, and with different colors you can really add pizzazz to any dish. Orange, yellow, and red make your salads pop out. Tomatoes like the Purple Haze will make your dish look exotic.
Can you tell…I love tomatoes! When I’m preparing a dish, I sometimes will slice off some just for myself to “sample” as I cook. Juicy, weighty, and just plain yum.
I’m going to share with you a Marinara Sauce that I keep working to perfect. It actually is a very good sauce, but sometimes I have a hard time leaving something alone that I already like. My brain says, “Oh, it can be so much better.” But, this one is actually quite there and so now I’m ready to share the recipe.
Dina’s Marinara Sauce
5 lbs fresh tomatoes (I like to use Roma)
2 medium onions, pureed and keep juice
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
Black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes or 1/2 teaspoon if you like
1 teaspoon rosemary, chopped
4 sprigs parsley
1 tablespoon sugar
Wash, core, and seed tomatoes. Chop the tomatoes.
Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil over medium heat in a pot.
Add onion, onion juice, and garlic and stir until the onions are soft (about 5 minutes).
Add chopped tomatoes and bring to a boil, stirring constantly to avoid burning or sticking.
Pour in the additional olive oil. Add salt, black pepper, oregano, red pepper flakes, rosemary, sugar, bay leaf, and parsley.
Lower heat to medium and cook uncovered, stirring regularly,,until all fluid is thickened. About 30 minutes to an hour.
Take off heat. Take a food mill or strainer and push the sauce through to get out the skins and any leftover seeds making sure you scrape underneath to get the precious tomato meat.
Add the fresh chopped basil. Check for salt and pepper.