Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Garden Marinara

I love tomatoes, though there comes a point in the season when they start to overwhelm. You've already made a few too many BLT's, had thick slices of them every morning with your eggs, pawned them off on visitors, eaten the cherry variety while standing in the garden, and all of the sudden, an army of them come forth from the shadows, ripening together in one unified formation.
Time for marinara.
This recipe is simple, and can be adapted using whatever tomato variety is most abundant, or a combination of many. If tomatoes are not in your garden, they can be found in thrift at farmer's markets this time of the year.
This preparation freezes beautifully as well. One little, or should I say, one large tidbit: A jar of store bought Gardenstyle Ragu pasta sauce contains about as much sugar as a jar of Smucker's hot fudge sauce.
This recipe requires no added sweetener. The sweetness of tomatoes ripened by the sun is just right.

Garden Marinara: (amounts are easily adaptable)
*1/3 cup high quality olive oil
*2 medium onions, chopped
*2 carrots, diced
*2 celery stalks, diced
*3 cloves garlic, minced
*2-3 bay leaves
*5-7 cups chopped tomatoes
*sea salt and pepper to taste

Place the olive oil in a heavy pot over medium/low heat. Add onion, carrots, and celery. Saute until onions are translucent and aromatic, about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add garlic. Saute. Season with salt and pepper before adding the chopped tomatoes and bay leaves. Reduce heat to low. Simmer uncovered until tomatoes are cooked down, about 40 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from heat and discard bay leaves.
Cool completely before ladling into freezer bags and freezing, or storing in a glass container fitted with a lid and placed in refrigerator.

Variations: You can easily add fresh chopped herbs, such as basil and parsley immediately after sauce is removed from heat.


  1. That looks so good! I love me some marinara sauce, and being someone who does not have her own vegetable garden, all that fresh stuff sounds just novel and delightful. Carl Rice (distant kinfolk of Will perhaps???) brought his sawmill up today so as soon as the weather clears up, let the party begin... Rarely a dull moment.

  2. good idea for our overflow of tomatoes, eduard

  3. Can you can this instead of freezing?

  4. You would want to follow an official canning recipe for tomato sauce so the acidity is correct. Adding other ingredients can change the ph, and you want to be very careful when canning. I recommend getting a good book on putting food by, and follow the exact recipes. Another option is to just can the tomatoes only and add the other ingredients fresh when you open a jar in the wintertime. Great question!