Wednesday, July 30, 2014


I try to cook food from scratch as much as I can. But, having said that, I do take shortcut methods when I am pressed for time or when I cannot keep my hands off of trying a recipe which calls for shortcut ingredients.We have decided to go local as much as we can so we buy a lot of ingredients for our daily cooking from the local Co-op. Off late, I am reading a few cookbooks written by fellow food bloggers. I follow them on their social media too,to get inspired with their meal planning for their families.It's an inspiration of sorts for the lifestyle they follow and not exactly the recipes.
When I read a cook book, I enjoy reading the headnotes more than the recipe itself. A cookbook without headnotes doesn't go well with me.It gives a personal touch to each recipe. Like, how they came up with that idea and how it evolved into a recipe gives you an insight of their day to day life. I am a person who imagines a lot when it comes to food. I can spend hours and hours on it. Infact, I've spent almost 3 weeks trying to develop a recipe based on an appetizer we ate at the wedding in Chicago.I read similar recipes online but, nothing came close to what we ate there.But, since I decided I would not give up on it, I did some calculations in my head and made a batch of that amazing dip and it tasted awesome. Infact,it was so much better than the one we had in Chicago, if I say so myself.It was served at Ian's 2nd Birthday Party as Thai Curry Chicken Wontons. 
We used to buy Marinara sauce all these years but after reading and following Jennifer, I made a mental note to try out her recipe next time I needed some sauce for my pizza and pasta. Ian loves pizza.Be it Pepperoni,Sausage,Cheese...anything as long as it's a pizza.He now knows that it comes in a thin cardboard box too! So, recently we had a package delivery and it came in a sleek carboard box. He was sleeping when Jobin brought it in. We didn't throw the box because we know that he loves to play with it. When Ian woke up, he saw the box and exclaimed,'Pizzi!'. He was very sure there was Pizza in it and when he realised there was none, he started asking me for it!
Yesterday, after putting him to sleep, I set out to caramelizing some yellow onions with thyme,olive oil, butter and white wine. The house smelled incredible and I knew that would wake him up because from the time he was a baby, any food that smelled good woke him up. No, I am not kidding! He would also tell me what exactly he is eating everytime I gave him something to eat! I know I am raising a Little Foodie and I am very happy about it.So, he did wake up and then immediately asked me to give him Pizzi! I wouldn't blame him. It did smell like an Italian resturant with all those onions caramelizing along with fresh thyme!
So, I decided to make a Pizza just for him with the sauce I've been itching to make.All things came together very well and I baked a thin crust pizza for him and the dough was made according to Jennifer's recipe too,from Homemade with Love. It was a very good one.Even though I made it *just* for him, it ended up being our dinner :) I wizh we had a slice of that Simple Strawberry Pie that I made a few weeks ago, using Jennifer's recipe for dessert. It was so good! Do try to make some before the sweet Strawberries go out of season. It hardly takes any time to bake!

Makes about 1 quart (900 grams)

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1 (28 ounce /784 grams) can whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes*
Handful of fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method: Heat oil in a fairly large pot over medium heat. Add the whole garlic cloves and cook until they are fragrant and golden, 2-3 minutes. In another bowl, break up the tomatoes with your hands and add them to the garlic,along with the tomato juice from the tin.You can puree the tomatoes if you like a smooth sauce or just break it up roughly,if you want a sauce with some texture,like I did.Season with salt and pepper and add the torn basil leaves. Stir it and let it cook on medium-low for 15 minutes.If not using immediately, let the sauce cool completely before storing it in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for upto 3 days. They will stay good, frozen, for up to 2 months.

*IF you want to use fresh tomatoes, blanch -peel -deseed them before using. The taste will vary a bit because they don't taste exactly the same as the tinned ones. There's no harm in trying,though! A pinch of sugar may be needed to balance the tartness of the fresh tomatoes. This is just my suggestion.
I was really happy with the results. If you find it a bit tart, I would suggest that you add a pinch of sugar to balance it out. This sauce worked very well with Ian. I saw him peel off the cheese layer to lick the sauce.One of the first words he learnt to say clearly was sauce. He loves ketchup and must have thought this Marinara sauce was it's cousin. They are in a way, right?


Sanya Arora said...

Very very nice!

Arch said...

Made a batch of this sauce now. It's come out so well! Thanks for the recipe.

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