Friday, March 15, 2013

Roasted Tomato Marinara

Things have been bonkers around here lately, hence my absence. And to top it off every single one of us being sick twice now and I have pulled a muscle or pinched something in my back. So I look like Igor right now. booooooo! I finally have a post ready and it is one I've been dying to share but we always eat and forget to photograph. This marinara is a favorite around here. I recently made it in mass quantity for a family get together for around 30 people and it was gone before I knew it. My husband was late because of work and didn't get any because it was gone, good thing my Mom also made Alfredo and there was enough for one plate. I guess we know what we're doing in the kitchen or at least our family seems to think so. This dinner takes a bit of time but is so ridiculously easy that it is the perfect thing for a lazy Sunday afternoon. This last batch of sauce made two meals, the first with spaghetti squash the other with traditional spaghetti noodles. If you haven't had spaghetti squash you should try it, it is a healthy, vegan, gluten free alternative to pasta. I still love traditional pasta, in fact that is what I'm showing it my sauce with in this post, and we will continue to eat it on occasion. However, I feel that making the change to spaghetti squash is a great way to keep us healthy and getting more veg into my picky little eater.

This marinara takes a bit of time between roasting in the oven then stewing on the stove top but it is very low maintenance and super easy. You can easily tweak it to fit your own palate. Depending on the natural sweetness of the tomato, onion or garlic spends on how much of the canned tomato I add later into the cooking. Depending on what I'm craving depends on the amount of basil I use. I prefer it meat free but you can easily brown some ground beef or ground turkey and add to the sauce. Just a tip for those of you who are skeptical of the flavor of the turkey, add a splash of beef stock to the sauce and you will not be able to tell the difference  I did that several times before I told my husband that he wasn't eating beef and he never knew. I use that poor guy as a guinea pig so often and he never complains. Guess I'm just lucky like that.

For the marinara:
(serves 4-6)
6 Roma tomatoes, quartered
2 yellow onions, cut into eighths
1 medium to large head of garlic, whole with the skin on
1 to 2 14 oz cans of crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce
5(ish) basil leaved finely chopped
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil add your prepared veggies and roast for 20 to 30 minutes. Your onions will be charred and that is good, do not panic. Once they come out of the oven, cut the bottom off the garlic and squeeze the garlic "meat" out into the blender and puree the veggies in a blender add to a sauce pan and simmer on medium  Add your canned tomatoes. Simmer for 10 minutes and season with salt and pepper to taste then add your basil simmer a few minutes more. Toss with your pasta top with some shredded Parmesan and a bit more fresh basil.

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