Monday, May 3, 2010

Marinara Rustica

Marinara is a staple red sauce in Italian cuisine. What follows is a basic recipe for the sauce. I like to flavor my sauce with mushrooms, sausage, whatever I'm in the mood for. If you like your sauce smooth, simply cut your vegetables smaller. I like a chunky and rustic flavor to my sauce, so I like to add large pieces of vegetables. Once you make this sauce a few times, it'll be like second nature and it's actually much cheaper than buying Ragu at the store.

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2 Tbsp. Butter
2 Each Carrots, medium dice
2 Each Celery, medium dice
4 Each Onion, medium dice
1/4 C. Parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp. Garlic, minced
1/4 C. Flour
6 oz. Tomato Paste
1/2 C. Red Wine
1 C. Pasta Water, reserved from cooking pasta
1-3/4# Crushed Tomatoes, or 28 oz. can
1-3/4# Whole Tomatoes, or 28 oz. can, large dice
TT Basil
TT Oregano
TT Thyme
TT Salt & Pepper

Boil the pasta in salted and oiled water until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water and set aside. Shock the pasta in cold water, oil and hold in the fridge.

Heat the oil and butter over medium high heat. Saute the mirepoix [carrots, celery, and onion] with the garlic and parsley until the vegetables are soft. Add the flour and tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Once the tomato paste has caramelized, deglaze the pot with the red wine and reserved pasta water. Cook for 3 minutes.

Add the crushed and diced tomatoes and heat until boiling. The tomatoes should break down and become well blended. Season with basil, oregano, thyme, and pepper. Add salt as needed, but the pasta water should provide enough salt, so be careful not to over-season the sauce. Reduce heat to medium, cover and let simmer for 30 minutes.

In a separate saute pan, heat sauce to order and toss in the desired amount of pasta. Serve topped with parmesan cheese and parsley.

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