Clay and Zach over at The Bitten Word put their readers to work this month by asking for help in making every single recipe in 6 food magazines for their Super Awesome Cover-to-Cover Project. These guys are ambitious! Those of us who volunteered were given an assignment. My assignment? Best-Ever Marinara from October’s issue of Food & Wine. This made me laugh, one of my first posts was about an unbelievably beautiful and long simmering marinara recipe, a marinara that is still highly coveted by my husband. So here I am again, making another marinara recipe and blogging about it. Anything for The Bitten Word. I’m not worthy!
Fortunately for me, this marinara took only a fraction of the time to make than Tony Ciccone’s simmering 4 hour masterpiece. And that’s the great thing about this recipe. It is incredibly easy! Just look at the ingredients! You probably have most of it in your pantry already. I sure did!
The end result? Pretty darn delicious. Although canned tomatoes are used, this sauce tastes fresh and flavorful and would pair nicely with a number of pasta dishes, especially pasta stuffed with cheese. Yummmmmm……. I wish I had taken the time to make stuffed shells or even Tony Ciccone’s meatballs with fresh fettucine. But alas, I was short on time, so I used a spinach and cheese ravioli I found in the deli section at the grocery store. Still quite tasty. Since it’s such an easy recipe with few ingredients, this marinara is perfect for a weeknight pasta dish. I simply froze the leftover sauce.
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 peeled and halved garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- One 35-ounce can whole peeled Italian tomatoes (I couldn’t find a 35-ounce can. I used 1 28-0unce can and half of a 14.5-ounce can)
- Freshly ground pepper
- Pinch of sugar
- 2 basil sprigs
In a large saucepan, heat the extra-virgin olive oil. Add the garlic cloves and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and crush them with the back of a spoon; season with salt and pepper. Stir in the sugar and basil sprigs and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened and reduced to 3 cups, about 30 minutes. Discard the basil sprigs and garlic.
Best-Ever Marinara with Spinach and Cheese Ravioli
I can’t wait to see this picture on The Bitten Word, y’all!