Friday, August 3, 2012

Italian Marinara

In 2011 I took a trip to Italy and became inspired, how can you not?! Italy is the culinary heaven!  I learned a lot about the Italian way of life while I was there and think America should adopt these old world techniques that have somehow gotten lost how to grow and appreciate flavorful foods.

1) Small refrigerators means less storage, so less food in the house. Many Italian's go to the market every day to get just what they need for the meal they will be preparing that day.

2) Your day is a five course meal, not really but kind of. Breakfast is just a snack and consists usually of an espresso, a light pastry, and a piece of fruit. (my favorite a macciato, a croissant and a peach, mmmm...) Lunch is an appetizer with cheeses, breads, meats, pesto, balsamic, tomatoes. Dinner is dinner and often eaten out late, at around 9 pm people start meeting up for supper and it lasts for hours. Unlike American restaurants where we eat, drink and converse in 40-60 mins and are given our ticket (hint, hint) and on our ways. Dinner starts with sparkling water, wine and bread, then you move through the courses, salad, pasta, meat, dessert and in the meantime spend hours enjoying your food, wine and company, and the staff at the restaurant is not trying to bustle you out, if you don't know to ask, you will think your wait staff to be rude, because they will never bring you your ticket, until you ask.

3) Fresh, local, and organic. In Europe you know you are eating quality food because they do not allow GMO's and have not modernized their farming. Many farmers drive their produce into the city daily and  are using property and technique that has been passed through generations for ages. Everything tastes ripe and full of flavor, cooking with these ingredients makes for amazing meals, the Italians are onto something and old world technique will survive in Italy as long as they continue to keep their traditions in the fields and in the kitchens. One rule if its not in season, you won't find it at the market!

So anyway I suppose you would like to learn how to make some marinara as well. But I do want to describe my inspiration on this, the sauce we buy in the store is NOT like the sauce in Italy. The marinara in Italy is fresh, slightly watery, and full of flavor! The sauce here is tasty, but too "tomato pasty" flavored and the sauce is usually thick and overbearing. My sauce inspired by the sauce I had in Italy is as close as I could get to recreating the unique flavors and consistency I experienced eating real marinara in Italy. Deliciouso!!!

Marinara Ingredients:
10-12 Ripe fresh tomatoes
1 bunch Fresh Basil
1/2 cup white wine
2 crushed cloves of Garlic
1 tsp of Salt
1 tsp of pepper
Fresh Italian herbs such as thyme,
rosemary, oregano


1) Add light coat of olive oil to a sauce pan at medium high, lay halved tomatoes face down to saute for about 10 mins. Traditional Italiano style is to de-seed them and de-skin them, but I personally like the seeds, its up to you how you want your sauce. If you are going to de-skin them you will need to blanch them for 5 mins in boiling water and remove by peeling off. To de-seed, scoop out with finger once its cut in half.
2) Reduce to medium heat and add wine, start smashing tomatoes when they start heating up, so they are cooking in their own juices and the wine. Continue mashing throughout the process. 
 3) Cook down for about 30 mins and add all spices and any sauteed vegetables you would like to add.
 3) You can freeze, can, to store for months or use the sauce within 10 days of creation. Enjoy!

Listed below are many of my recipes you can make with this marinara:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...