Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Marinara Sauce

"In the depths of winter I have found there lies within me an invincable summer." -Albert Camus
No, we don't have tomatoes growing fluently in our greenhouses at this time of year. In fact, we rarely do ANY time of year! (though there IS a local grange project in the works that could supply fresh tomatoes and greens to Homer year round....we'll keep you posted on that one) We are all for going local as much as possible, but when it comes to tomato sauce, well, let's just say it's very unrealistic. At the bakery, we have always made our own marinara using canned tomato products (thank you Sean Maryott) but at home, for the longest time, I bought jarred sauce. (I know, right?) Until I saw on some food detective show how much sugar is in one of those jars....whoa. So now, I make it at home, just like at the bakery, only I can it into 16 ounce jars. This batch will get you 6 of them, plus you'll have ample left over for supper that night. perfect.


1 whole head of garlic...peeled and crushed
2 medium onions...roughly chopped
4 ribs celery...chopped
4 medium carrots...chopped
/2 cup red wine
1- #10 can diced tomatoes (6# 6oz or 12 cups)
1 6 oz can tomato paste
4 cups water
2 T salt
2 T sugar
2 T dried basil
2 t oregano
2 t thyme
2 t marjoram
2 T balsamic vinegar

In a large 8 quart heavy bottom pot heat 1/4 c olive oil over medium heat, add onions, saute 2 minutes, then add garlic, celery and carrot...continue to saute until onions are translucent. add wine to pan and stir to deglaze and cook off alcohol, about 4 minutes. add tomato products and water, stirring well to combine. add salt sugar, spices and vinegar. bring to gentle simmer, turn heat to low and cook gently for at least an hour, longer if you have time. Puree using an immersion blender (or a standup blender, but for the love of god...BE CAREFUL!) once it is the consistency you love...return to the stove and bing to a very low boil.
Prep jars by washing them and boiling in your canning pot covered with water...10 minutes. put lids and rings in a smaller pot covered with water and gently bring to simmer. Ever so carefully, remove the jars using tongs and set on a clean towel spread on the counter. Ladle in sauce to bottom of band. wipe the rims of each jar with a very clean cloth. then put on lids and bands...only screw on enough to hold lid in place. lower jars back into canning pot and add more water to cover jars by 2 inches. Bring to boil and hold at that temp for 35 minutes. remove from water and let sit undisturbed to cool. do not tighten rings. check seal (a tap in the center should not make a sound) any that have not sealed, refridgerate and use with a week. The rest can go in the pantry or any cool dark spot.
For more on canning:
'Putting Food By' is one of my favorite go to books for cannin' or jammin'! also has great online info...

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