Sunday, April 22, 2012

Homemade Tomato Marinara Sauce

This is a very simple recipe for a classic Italian tomato sauce. The key is in the quality of the tomatoes and the slow cook method, brings out the natural sweetness of the onions and tomatoes. No need for added sugar. Use this for all tomato pasta dishes and pizza. It beats canned Italian sauces any day. This can take up to 2 and a half hours to prepare so make in advance and use throughout the week.

Nutritional content: This recipe has a low glycemic load however tomatoes aren’t anti-inflammatory so I currently minimise the amount of dishes with tomatoes. It is low in cholesterol, a good source in Vitamin A and a very good source of vitamin C. Approximately 155 calories per portion.
8 medium to large fresh tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon mixed Italian dried herbs (oregano, parsley, thyme etc.)
1 teaspoon salt
Salt and black pepper to taste
 (makes about 5 portions)

Preparing Fresh Tomatoes
The tomatoes will need to be de-skinned and de-seeded before cooking. The easiest way to do this is to core the tomatoes and heat shock them. To do this cut a cross at the base of each tomato before soaking them in cold water. Prepare a boiling pot of water, pick out the cold tomatoes and drop them into the boiling pot, within 30 seconds you should see their skins loosen. Remove them from the hot water and hand peel the tomatoes. Separate the seeds and reserve them in a separate bowl. Once the tomatoes are chopped, press the juice of the discarded seeded parts with  a sieve and add the juice to chopped tomatoes.

For the Sauce
To make the sauce, heat a large pan over medium–low heat and slowly cook the chopped onions in the olive oil. Stir occasionally and cook until starting to brown, this will take about 10 to 15 minutes. When ready, add the chopped tomatoes, juice and crushed garlic to the pan. Increase the heat to medium for a few minutes, once starting to simmer set the heat to low. Add the salt and dried herbs and let simmer for 2 hours stirring occasionally. If you would like to use fresh herbs add them near the end. Season to taste.

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