Prep 15 mins
Cook 25 mins
I have been cooking this recipe for several years now. It is one I created on my own for two reasons: one, my father plants 300 tomato plants every year, and we have many jars of tomatoes to take us through the winter; and two, because I was forever looking for marinara sauce thick enough to get mountains of flavor on a pizza without having a soggy crust. This recipe works the same as my "Tried and True Caramel Candy" recipe in that the longer you cook it, the stiffer it becomes, so if you need something for angel hair pasta you are going to cook it less and let it be a little runnier. For pizza or calzones though, you need that chunky, thick consistency that will hold up to your crust and give you a great bang of flavor. That is what this recipe is all about. Once it's done, try not to eat the whole pot before making your pizza.
- 3 quarts tomatoes, home bottled (home bottled will be better if you have them but storebought will work if it's low sodium)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, diced very finely
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 3 tablespoons dry basil
- 1 tablespoon dry oregano
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes (optional)
- 1⁄2 cup red wine
- Drain your jars or cans of tomatoes. SAVE THE JUICE! I'll post a recipe for my clear tomato soup. You can use it for that so nothing goes to waste.
- Work the tomatoes with your hands through a tight sieve to get rid of most of the excess liquid. You need just enough so that you can easily blend the pulp in a blender or food processer.
- Blend the pulp. Set aside.
- Finely dice your onion. Ok, you are ready to start cooking.
- Put oil in a medium sized heavy saucepan, bring up to heat and add onions to sauteé. I like a little extra oil, but use your discretion if you want less.
- Add crushed garlic. Garlic added before onions will get overcooked because there is never enough volume to balance the amount of heat in the pan, and overcooked garlic tastes a little acrid, when well-cooked garlic has a much smoother flavor. So always have your onions in as a protective base to your garlic. Let it get fully fragrant.
- Add all your dry ingredients, and sauteé in oil until onions are transparent.
- Add tomato pulp and red wine. It should be red, not white because it gives a deeper, richer flavor.
- Put a lid on and let it cook on medium heat stirring intermittently. It will take varying amounts of time depending on how thick you want it. I tried cooking it with a splash screen instead of a lid to get the excess liquid out quickly, but it was still such a mess that it's better to use the lid.
- When you have the consistency you want, turn off the heat and serve it up with your favorite pasta, or as a dipping sauce, on pizza, calzones etc. etc. etc.