Perhaps it's the fact that I'm leaving for Italy tomorrow, or maybe it's just the abundance of home grown tomatoes I keep receiving from my farm and friends.
Whatever the inspiration, I used those lovely tomatoes to make Marinara Sauce yesterday. Homemade sauce is so much fresher tasting than what you get in a jar, and surprisingly easy. You can use it right away, or jar it, freeze it, and enjoy it all winter.
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 dozen large plum tomatoes, peeled and seeded
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/4 cup basil leaves
1 piece of rind from Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, optional
Salt, pepper and sugar to taste
Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
Roughly chop tomatoes and add to pot. Bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Add basil and cook 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and puree with a stick blender or carefully transfer to a traditional blender to puree.
Return pot to stove and add Parmigiano Reggiano rind. Bring to a simmer and cook for 1 hour, allowing cheese to impart its flavor into the sauce the the sauce to thicken. Remove rind and season to taste with salt, pepper, and a pinch of sugar if desired.
Reminder: I won't be blogging while I'm traveling, but check my Travel Journal blog in early October for all of the details of my trip to Rome, Lecce (The Awaiting Table Cookery School), Siena, Tuscany and Casperia, including, most importantly, all of the food and wine!