Tuesday, June 21, 2011

5-Minute Marinara Sauce

Here's a great alternative to a slow-simmered marinara sauce. This is a go-to recipe for me because it's so easy and so yummy I can eat it with a spoon. It's a little lighter than the Marcella Hazan sauce and obviously much simpler - it really does only take 5 minutes. And while summer offers a bounty of ripe, fresh tomatoes, sometimes I just can't bear to turn on the stove for more than 5 minutes. This recipe comes from 101 Cookbooks, which is a great blog. Like Heidi says, the type of tomatoes you use really is important. Not all canned tomatoes are great, so splurge for the organic ones here - it will still be cheaper than a jar of that processed stuff.

Time: 5 minutes
Serves: 4 (makes about 3 cups)

  • 1 28oz can of organic, crushed tomatoes. I use Muir Glen brand.
  • 3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt*
  • 3 medium cloves of garlic
  • zest of one lemon
  1. Open your can of tomatoes and set aside.
  2. Peel your garlic cloves and chop finely.
  3. Add to a cold saucepan along with the 3 TBSP olive oil, 1 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp sea salt.

  1. Stir the oil, garlic and spices while you turn on the saucepan to medium-high.
  2. Cook the spices and oil until you start to smell them - it should only take 45 seconds or so. 
  3. Once it's fragrant, stir in your can of tomatoes and heat to a gentle bubble, this takes just a couple minutes.
  4. Turn off your burner and carefully taste for salt. If the sauce needs more salt add it now. 
  5. Use a fine grater to zest in your lemon and stir together. Serve immediately or keep warm over a very low heat.


* Sea Salt - I keep 2 kinds of salt on my kitchen counter. Kosher salt and Sea salt. Kosher salt is course and it's what I use when I'm seasoning something before I cook it. A bonus for Kosher salt is that it has less sodium than table salt, thanks to the larger crystals. When I need to add salt at the end, I usually reach for the sea salt, which is like a fine powder and also what Heidi recommends for this recipe.

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