Have you ever had something that you knew was perfect your way? No matter what the textbooks, teachers, experts or even old aunties claimed? Well in my case, many things fall in this category including this Marinara sauce. Now this is not blind faith – it’s a belief system that has evolved over many painstaking trial and error sessions. It is also a result of the fact that international recipes sometimes call for ingredients that are not readily available here. Or plain and simple – you try to make the best of the ingredients that ARE available to you! If that means cutting open a packet of Dabur Tomato Puree in the final stages and finishing the sauce with some Maggi Hot and Sweet sauce – then so be it! The final results are a fantastically chunky sauce with a robust tomato and garlic flavor. Dress it with some good quality olive oil and you’ve beaten the store bought sauces 10-1. With odds like this, ‘my way’ seems a lot more comfortable than the highway no?
Easy Marinara Sauce
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Makes: 4 cups
What you need:
1 Kg Tomatoes – pureed
1 Onion, minced
8 large Garlic cloves, minced
4 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/3 cup White wine (optional)
1 ¼ tsp Salt
A pinch of Sugar
½ Tbsp freshly ground Black Pepper
1 ½ Tbsp mixed Herbs (I use Keya Italian Herbs)
1 tsp Chilli flakes (optional)
200 ml Tomato Puree (I use Dabur)
3 Tbsp Maggi Hot and Sweet Ketchup
A couple of fresh Basil Leaves
What to do:
Wash, roughly chop and then puree the tomatoes in a food processor. Set aside. (Do not add water).
In a large saucepan, on medium heat, saute the garlic in olive oil. Do not let the garlic colour. As it turns soft, add in the onions and saute till they turn translucent. If you are using wine, add it in now. After it sizzles and hisses – pour in the freshly pureed tomatoes. Raise the heat and let it bubble away contentedly for 10 minutes, you will see the sauce beginning to thicken.
Now add in the sugar, black pepper and Italian dried herbs. If you are adding chilli flakes, toss them in now. Check the seasoning and add salt. Stir to combine, lower the heat and let the sauce come to a slow simmer for the next 10 minutes.
Finallly mix in the dabur tomato puree and the ketchup. The sauce will now take on a more glossy appearance and darker colour. Simmer for 10 more minutes. Toss in the chopped basil leaves just before turning off the stove.
You can store this in the fridge for up to a week.
The Marinara sauce can be used as a base sauce for lasagnas and aubergine parmesana. Or just toss it up with some pasta and dress with olive oil and parmesan for a quick weeknight meal. I also use this as a dipping sauce for onion rings or mozzarella fritters. Yummmm…