Thursday, 30 August 2012

Marinara Sauce

a vegan sauce

Marinara sauce is an Italian style tomato-based sauce best consumed with spaghetti, spaghettini, cheese sticks, bread sticks, and flat breads like chapati, pita and naan.


If you follow the recipe strictly, you'll come up with a bowl of sauce that would serve:

- 5 to 7 people if you use it as a dip for finger food like bread sticks and cheese sticks, or
- 3 to 5 people if you use it for pasta or for flat bread

You will need:
- 3 normal sized western tomatoes (or 5 medium sized Roma/Bangalore tomatoes), peeled and coarsely chopped 
- 2 normal sized western tomatoes (or 3 medium sized Roma/Bangalore tomatoes), blended into a paste 
- 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh parsley (1/2 if dried) 
- 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh marjoram/oregano (1 teaspoon if dried) 
- 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh basil (1 teaspoon if dried but it makes a huge difference because you will really want fresh basil for this recipe) 
- ⅓ (one-third) cup finely diced onion 
- 2 cloves garlic, minced 
- 7 tablespoons of olive oil 
- ½ (half) cup of water 
- ½ (half) tablespoon of soy sauce 
- 1½ tablespoon of molasses (or 1 tablespoon of ordinary brown sugar)
- salt for seasoning 
- black pepper for seasoning

To make it:
1. Pour two tablespoons of olive oil onto a pan over medium heat. 
2. Sauté the diced onion for about a minute to sweat it but make sure it doesn't burn.  Remove the onion from the pan afterwards and set it aside. 
3. Pour the rest of the olive oil onto the pan, followed by the garlic which you need to sauté for a minute as well. 
4. Drop the chopped tomatoes in and agitate them around the pan for about 3 minutes. 
5. Add in the parsley, marjoram and basil, and mix in along with 2 tablespoons of your water. 
6. Bring the heat down to low and cover for 5 minutes with occasional stirring. 
7. Stir in the tomato paste, soy sauce, molasses and water.  Drop the onion back in, too. 
8. Cover for 5 minutes and season with salt and pepper to taste afterwards. 
9. Simmer gently over very low heat with occasional stirring for 10 minutes or until most of the water has evaporated and the sauce is thick enough.  You be the judge.  If less than 10 minutes has elapsed and the water has almost dried out, stir in about 2 tablespoons more.

NOTE: If you're going to use this sauce for pasta, use it as it is.  However, if you're going to use it as a dip for bread sticks and cheese sticks or if you want to put it on your flat bread, you may want to add in a teaspoon of flour to thicken it a little and to give it a paste-like consistency which would help it stick to bread.  Of course, dissolve the flour in a little cold water before stirring in.  The best time to do this is after simmering.  You may use less than a teaspoon of flour but never more than that.

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