marinara

To me there is nothing quite like a delicious, simple, homemade marinara. After lots of experimenting I came up with this recipe. Which is a mix of a recipe I got from a yummy Italian restaurant in Portland and my Grandma's sugo recipe (which were almost the same besides my Grandma's calls for wine and sugar which in my opinion are the perfect finishing touches). It is a big batch so I canned some and froze the rest. If you are making this to can you will to need to can it in a pressure cooker as it is not a safe recipe for a water bath.

Marinara

1/4 cup olive oil 
2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped (about 2 ¼ cups)
4 large cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
6-8 pounds, garden tomatoes peeled and seeded, (to peel, cut a small “x” on the top and drop in to boiling water for 10 seconds and drop in to an ice bath. Skin will easily peel off) 
1 bunch basil (about 10-12 sprigs), stems removed, leaves roughly chopped
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1  tablespoon sugar
1 cup red wine

1. Heat a large (6- to 8-quart) saucepan over medium-high heat.  When hot, add the olive oil and the onions (at the same time).  Sauté until very soft, about 12 minutes.
2. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes, but do not let it brown (turn down the heat if you see browning).
3. Add the whole tomatoes and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Add the wine and sugar. Lower heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Add the basil and cook 5 minutes more.
3. Remove pot from heat and season with salt and pepper.  Using an immersion blender, food processor or regular blender, purée until mostly smooth, but still chunky.  (If you use a blender or food processor, steam pressure can cause the sauce to spray out of the appliance. So purée the sauce in small batches, crack the lid on blenders to let some steam escape, make sure to cover the lid with a kitchen towel and hold your hand on it to keep it down.)

*notes- I used about 40-45 San Marzano tomatoes.If fresh tomatoes are not in season canned tomatoes are just as delicious. Use 5 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes in purée. The "in puree" part is important. I used regular whole canned tomatoes for a long time and could not figure out why my sauce was not thick enough! I have added tomato paste but I do not love the flavor. This recipe made three pint jars and one quart jar (with a small container leftover to freeze)

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