Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Marinara, Lightened Up!

We got a ton of heirloom tomatoes from our CSA share last year.  A ton.  So many in fact that I couldn't eat or use them fast enough.  I had to do something to prevent from having to throw half of them out - and I couldn't fathom that because they were soooo fabulous and flavorful.  The light bulb came on in my head.  I got out my stock pot, filled it with water and tomatoes and boiled away.  I cored, seeded and peeled them, placed them in ziploc bags, and threw 'em in the freezer for use during the winter.  Brilliant!

Well, here it is the middle of April and I haven't used any of them.  I had grand plans to make sauces and salsas throughout the winter.  Clearly that never happened.

So, time to put these babies to use!  I wanted to make a marinara - but a lighter version for spring.  I thawed the tomatoes, pulsed them in the food processor for a minute or so and added them to onion, garlic, basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes.  No wine, no tomato paste, just tomatoes and herbs.  This sauce was so fresh and light.  The perfect complement to our 70 degree day!

I served this with some Bucatini, chopped fresh basil, and grated parmessan.  Splendid!  Tasty, and so easy.

Happy Eating!

Marinara Light
Recipe by A Toast to Taste

Ingredients Needed:
olive oil
4 cups fresh peeled, cored, and seeded tomatoes (or use a 28 oz can crushed tomato if fresh are not available)
1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp dried basil
2 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste

1 lb favorite pasta
fresh basil, loosely chopped
finely grated parmessan cheese

In the bowl of a food processor, add tomatoes and pulse for about 1 minute or until well combined.  You want them to be smooth (see image above).  Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion and cook for 3-4 minutes.  Add garlic, cook for another minute.  Pour in tomatoes, and stir to combine with onion mixture.  Season with basil, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.  Let sauce simmer for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta according to directions on box (or you could use fresh pasta).  Drain and add noodles to sauce in skillet.  Combine and transfer to a serving bowl.  Top with fresh basil and parmessan cheese.  Enjoy!

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