The success of this marinara sauce depends upon the freshness and quality of the ingredients. If possible, use fresh-from-the-garden or farmers’ market tomatoes. If good tomatoes are out of season or unavailable, use the finest canned tomatoes you can find; we prefer the taste of San Marzano. Make sure your garlic is firm with no visible green sprout and your basil is fresh and green without wilted edges. Finally, be patient””the more the marinara simmers, the tastier it becomes!
Put this slow-simmering tomato sauce on the stove at the beginning of your cooking date, move on to assemble Meatballs, and at the end of two hours you’ll have a hearty, delicious meal with extra to freeze. A variety of meals can be built from this versatile sauce, including Lasagna, Eggplant Parmesan, and Chicken Cacciatore.
Cooking With Friends Kitchen
2 large cans of San Marzano canned whole tomatoes (fresh is better if available)
4 oz. fresh basil (1 large bunch) washed, stems discarded & chopped into strips.
6 large fresh garlic cloves
1/4 cup mild extra virgin olive oil (a little more than a coating of the pan)
3/4 tablespoons Kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 dashes hot sauce such as Tabasco
Chop garlic into very small pieces, not put through a press. Heat olive oil in a large open rimmed skillet on a low-medium heat. Add garlic, and cook for no more than 2 minutes. Garlic should not
begin to brown. Immediately squeeze tomatoes finely with your hands as you place them into the garlic. Pour all the sauce from the can into the pan. Season with kosher salt, sugar, crushed red pepper and hot sauce. Add basil after seasoning. Cover with a tightly fitted lid or a flat skillet pan. Simmer on an extremely low heat for no less than two hours.
Note: If the sauce is too thin, remove lid and cook down for a bit. Then return the lid.