I love to make my own Marinara. Beautiful tomatoes, fresh garlic and big mushrooms with lots of herbs and spices give it a lot of body and flavor.
The ingredients are simple. Minced garlic, slivered onions, Extra Virgin Olive oil, butter, sliced mushrooms, tomatoe sauce stewed tomatoes or canned whole tomatoes, tomatoe paste, sweet Italian basil, and my other favorite herbs like rosemary, thyme, oregano, or keep it simple and use Italian seasoning, (a combo of all of the above).
First I crush the garlic and mince it and add it to Two TBSP. of extra virgin oilive oil and two TBSP. of butter. Add it while the oil is not too hot so as not to burn the garlic. Simmer a couple minutes while you sliver the onions.
Then slice the mushrooms. I like my mushrooms big and plump.
Add the onions to the pan with the garlic and saute until translucent, then add the mushrooms and saute a couple minutes longer.
Start adding the tomato sauce 16 oz. (2 small cans or 1 large can) and the stewed tomatoes, then about 3 TBSP. tomato paste. This is used as a thickener, so you may need to add about a 1/2 cup of water to achieve the consistency that you like. I always add some water.
Here I've tossed in my Sweet Italian basil and about a TBSP. of Italian Seasoning. I stir it in and let everything simmer for about an hour on low heat. Cover the pan to contain the splatters and stir occasionally so as not to burn.
At this time I like to taste it and add a touch of sugar, maybe a couple teaspoons, salt & pepper too. Usually I add fresh torn basil, but my garden was lacking so I added fresh spinach to give it some color.
Prepare your pasta water by filling a large pot with water, add a pinch of salt and some olive oil so the spaghetti doesn't stick together. Bring it to a rolling boil and add your pasta. Cook it al dente (according to the package directions) and drain immediately after you test a strand that you have cooled. Al dente is just so the teeth can bite into it. (Perfect!)Spaghetti cooks for ten minutes.
Fresh pastas cook in a couple minutes so get to know your different pastas.
After draining the pasta I put it back into the pot and let the heat cook off any remaining water so it will be perfect, (not watery). Then it is ready to serve on a platter or individual servings with lots of delicious Marinara on top. Fresh grated Parmesan or Romano finishes it off along with a crisp green salad.
I love a nice red wine with Italian food such as a Cabernet or a Merlot.
Once you learn how to make your own sauce you will love how it comes together and you'll feel so earthy crushing your own herbs and spices and filling your kitchen with the aromas of great cooking.
This sauce can be used for Chicken Parmesan also. I made that the next day.
Coming soon at The Artful Hawaiigirl
Chicken Parmesan and fresh garlic bread.
Here's the Marinara recipe in my cookbook.
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