What does summer really mean? If your lucky it means you have an abundance of fresh basil growing in your garden so you need to find lots and lots of different things to do with it. I finally have a garden – er well it’s more of a little box garden but it’s a garden all the same. So I’ve grown peas, tomatoes, pumpkins, basil, cilantro, oregano, and thyme and I’m still waiting on the green onions and rosemary (those two haven’t thrived like everything else. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I tried to grow way too much in a fairly small space. At least I kept the tomatoes and pumpkins growing elsewhere on their own). I’ve grown herbs in my windowsill for many years but they’ve just never thrived the way they do in a garden. I’m loving being able to go out and just snip what I need as it keeps growing!
One of my favorite things to do with fresh basil is make homemade marinara sauce. I fall head of heals for a good marinara sauce and it’s so easy to make a good batch at home from scratch! I used to go all out and make the fresh tomato marinara sauce. I’d have to boil and peel the fresh tomatoes, then seed them, and then crush them – it was a lengthy tedious process. Then once upon a time I realized the canned San Marzano tomatoes are just as good for marinara sauce and life got a whole lot easier. Really though, canned are where it’s at in my opinion. It’s like how it goes with canned pumpkin – you just get consistent results with the canned San Marzano tomatoes. On a side note if you or someone in your family insists on a little meat in their sauce (hmm hmm, my husband) feel free to add it to individual servings (ground beef, pork or sausage or a combination). Something this good most definitely doesn’t need any meat in my opinion though.
This sauce is very easy to prepare yet the end results are truly so delicious! You think with it’s fairly short list of ingredients it couldn’t be this tasty but oh how it is! Toss it with pasta, add a fair sprinkling of shredded parmesan and final touch of fresh basil ribbons and you’ve just reached dinner goals! Just don’t forget the fresh crusty italian bread of some kind (even if it’s store bought) and some good olive oil and freshly cracked pepper to dip it in. Good carby meals like so are some of my favorite!
Homemade Marinara Sauce
Yield: About 8 servings
- 2 (28 oz) cans San Marzano Tomatoes
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 2 cups finely chopped yellow onions
- 10 cloves garlic minced (3 1/2 Tbsp)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt , then more to taste
- 3 sprigs fresh basil (25g)
- 8 sprigs fresh parsley , trimmed of half of the stem (20g)
- Shredded Parmesan or Romano Cheese and basil ribbons , for serving
Pour tomatoes into a medium mixing bowl then crush all of the tomatoes well with your hands, set aside.
Melt butter in a large pot slightly over medium heat. Add onions and saute until softened, about 8 minutes. Move onions over to one side of the pan, add garlic to opposite side and saute 1 minute, or until lightly golden and fragrant. Pour in tomatoes and olive oil. Season with salt, add basil and parsley and stir. Bring just to a light boil then reduce heat to low and simmer until sauce has reduced and thickened slightly, stirring occasionally, about 20 - 25 minutes. Using tongs, remove basil and parsley sprigs and discard. Serve sauce warm with pasta and top with Parmesan or Romano cheese and basil.
Recipe source: Cooking Classy