Marinara sauce (food & wine~ 1990)

Yield: 3 Servings

Measure Ingredient
¼ cup Extra-virgin olive oil
2 smalls Garlic cloves, minced OR
\N \N Crushed and peeled*
2½ pounds Plum tomatoes, peeled,
\N \N Seeded and finely chopped
\N \N OR one 35-oz. can and one
\N \N 14-oz. can of Italian plum
\N \N Tomatoes, lightly drained
\N \N And finely chopped
¼ teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Pepper
2 tablespoons Shredded fresh basil

1. In a medium nonreactive skillet, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until golden, about 4 minutes. Discard the garlic if desired. 2. Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 30 minutes. Soft bits of tomato will remain, and the sauce should be thick enough to hold its shape on a spoon. (The sauce can be made ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 3 months.) Stir in the basil just before serving. * Crushed, peeled garlic cloves can be discarded after browning for a very subtle flavor or left in and discarded at the end of cooking for a slightly more emphatic garlic taste. More often than not I used minced garlic and leave it in. This gives the sauce a strong garlic flavor. NOTE: Many southern Italians refer to a quick tomato sauce as "marinara" because it could be made at a moment's notice by a fisherman's wife upon her husband's return. Serve over breaded or fried foods or mixed into baked pasta dishes or spaghetti, it is the most common southern Italian tomato sauce. I like to make a simple marinara, which I can later adjust by adding sauteed onions, other fresh herbs, such as oregano, parsley, marjoram or rosemary, or by adding hot peppers.

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