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Becky Luigart-Stayner; Cindy Barr Photo by: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Cindy Barr

Basic Marinara

Rely on a large Dutch oven or stockpot because this recipe makes enough marinara sauce for several meals. Cook at a low simmer--just a few bubbles every few seconds will yield the deepest taste.

This recipe goes with Shrimp Fra Diavolo, Sausage and Pepper Pizza, Spinach and Ricotta-Stuffed Shells, Mussels Marinara, Escarole, Three Bean, and Roasted Garlic Soup, Chicken, Pasta, and Chickpea Stew, Portobello Parmesan, Baked Ziti Casserole, Colorful Vegetable Lasagna, Swordfish with Lemony Red Sauce

Cooking Light OCTOBER 2007

  • Yield: About 12 cups (serving size: 1/2 cup)

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cups chopped yellow onion (about 3 medium)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic (about 6 cloves)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 (28-ounce) cans no-salt-added crushed tomatoes

Preparation

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion to pan; cook 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add sugar and next 7 ingredients (through fennel seeds); cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in vinegar; cook 30 seconds. Add broth and tomatoes; bring to a simmer. Cook over low heat for 55 minutes or until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally.

To store in the freezer: Ladle room-temperature or chilled sauce into plastic containers or zip-top plastic bags. Seal and freeze for up to four months. Consider freezing the sauce in one-cup increments (two servings' worth). That way, you can pull out exactly as much as you want for future meals.

To thaw sauce: Try one of three methods.

1. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

2. Place frozen blocks in a saucepan. Cover and bring to a low simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

3. Place frozen blocks in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave at HIGH one minute at a time, stirring after each increment until thawed.

To boost taste: Long stints in the freezer can dull the taste of tomatoes. To perk up thawed sauce, add one-half teaspoon finely grated lemon rind or one teaspoon balsamic vinegar while reheating.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 50
  • Calories from fat: 32%
  • Fat: 1.8g
  • Saturated fat: 0.2g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 1.3g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.2g
  • Protein: 1.3g
  • Carbohydrate: 8g
  • Fiber: 2.1g
  • Cholesterol: 0.0mg
  • Iron: 0.5mg
  • Sodium: 270mg
  • Calcium: 28mg
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Basic Marinara recipe

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