Monday, October 28, 2013

Sweet Tomato Marinara

Raise your hand if you STILL have tomatoes from your garden you don't know what to do with?  Well, I don't...anymore.  I had to pick the last of them about 3 weeks ago and they were all green.  Then all of a sudden this last week they all ripened at the same time.

Lately we've gone a little over board on the Fresh Tomato Soup, although my girls devour it and would still probably eat it every day, so I wanted to see if I could make yet ANOTHER pasta sauce that I just couldn't live with out.  Score! 

All the sauces I make and have made I still like, but for different reasons.  This one is thick and rich, and slightly sweet with a hint of fennel.  I like LOTS of sauce on my pasta, but hate when it just puddles under the noodles as soon as it's poured on.  Not a problem here, this sauce ain't goin' nowhere!

Sweet Tomato Marinara
makes about 1 1/2 quarts

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small sweet onion
6 cloves garlic, minced
about 3 lbs fresh roma tomatoes, peeled and pureed (about 6 cups pureed)
2/3 cup red cooking wine, or cranberry or pomegranate juice
1 6-oz can tomato paste
1 1/2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. fennel seed (I ground mine in my mortar and pestle a bit)
salt and pepper

In a large saucepan or pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat.  Add onions and saute about 5 minutes until tender and translucent.  Add garlic and saute another minute.  Add tomato puree, cooking wine (or juice), tomato paste, vinegar, brown sugar and fennel.  Add a pinch of salt and pepper and bring to a boil.  Simmer for about 20-25 minutes until sauce is thickened to your liking, stirring occasionally.  Check for seasonings and add salt and pepper as necessary.  Serve warm with your favorite pasta.

Store in airtight container for about a week in the fridge and about 3 months in the freezer.

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