Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Marinara Sauce

So good! I lost track of the times Nate said, "This is so good!" during dinner. He said it is by far the best marinara sauce he has ever had. I used this sauce in a lasagna last night and Nate declared it to be the best lasagna he's ever had. We also dipped our bread in the sauce. So I'd say this marinara sauce is a keeper! I made an 8x8" lasagna and had sauce leftover to freeze. Next time I'm going to double the recipe so I have more to freeze. I felt like a little Italian grandma with my sauce simmering away and making my house smell so good. I adapted this recipe from one over at Mel's Kitchen Cafe and according to the site, the sauce freezes well for up to six months. We loved this sauce!

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 (28-ounce each) cans crushed tomatoes
1/2 Tbsp. dried basil
1/2 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 Tbsp. garlic bread seasoning
2 dried bay leaves
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat until hot and rippling. Add the onion and garlic and saute, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft and translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the celery, carrots, and green pepper and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until all the vegetables are slightly tender, about 5 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, basil, oregano, garlic bread seasoning, bay leaves, and parmesan cheese and simmer, covered, on low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally to make sure the sauce isn’t sticking to the bottom of the pot. Cook sauce until slightly thickened and the vegetables are completely tender. Taste the sauce. Add salt and pepper as needed. Remove the bay leaves. In a blender or food processor, blend the sauce (in several batches, if necessary) until it is smooth. The sauce can be frozen once it is cooled completely in freezer-safe ziploc bags for up to 6 months. Enjoy!

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