Presenter:  Kelly

Introduction:

I’ve made my own marinara sauce for years.  Sometimes I use canned tomatoes and sauce, but this time of year, I love to use fresh tomatoes.  Though time got away from us this year, in many years past, Becky and I have bought tomatoes by the bushel to make this Off the Vine Marinara sauce and jar it for the winter months ahead. 

I probably never make two batches of this sauce that are the same.  Depending on what I have in the kitchen makes a big difference as to what will go into this marinara sauce.  Sometimes I add peppers to the pan, sometimes I don’t.  I wrote and measured as I prepped my last batch, but really this sauce can’t go wrong.  Add and experiment with your own addition of vegetables. 

Resources:

Procurements:

  • About 10-15 medium/large tomatoes.  You want enough to fill your pan generously.  They’ll shrink when you cook them!
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 small bulb of garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Quite a few cranks of fresh black pepper
  • 1/4 c. fresh basil
  • 1 T fresh oregano
  • Balsamic vinegar

Operating procedures:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Start by quartering large tomatoes or halving any medium tomatoes, cutting the bell pepper in half and removing seeds, and peeling the onion and quartering it.  Add all these vegetables onto the pan and hand toss with the about 2 T olive oil and 1 t. salt and fresh black pepper.  When all is said and done, make sure the red pepper halves are skin side up, the tomatoes and onions don’t matter as much.  Place the pan in the oven and roast for 1 hour. 

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About to go in the oven

Although the garlic is optional, it adds really nice flavor.  About 15 minutes into the hour of roasting, you will want to begin to roast the garlic.  Start by cuting the top (pointy side) off the bulb of garlic, exposing the cloves inside, then drizzle them with about a 1/2 t of olive oil and a pinch of salt.  Wrap the garlic bulb in foil leaving the cut side of the garlic facing up.  Place the garlic pack in the oven, to the side of the sheet pan, right on the wire rack.  Roast the garlic for about 35-40 minutes with the remaining time of the tomatoes. 

After cooking is complete, remove the garlic and vegetables from the oven.  The pan of veggies should be charred.  Lightly cover the pan with foil and let them rest for 20-30 minutes.  Open the garlic pack to let steam escape and cool down.

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After an hour of roasting

 

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Steaming up!

Once the veggies have sat and they are cool enough to handle, you want to skin the tomatoes and peppers.  Trust me, that this step is worth the patience.  The skins should peel off rather easily. 

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Peeled and ready for the blender.

In the blender, squeeze the roasted garlic from the bulb, add fresh herbs, bell pepper and onion, and about 1 T of balsamic vinegar.  You want to mix these in the blender first so that they are a smooth consistency.  Add a wee bit of water if needed to get it moving.  Once pureed, add the tomatoes and all their juices and pulse the blender about 5 times to combine.  I like a rather chunky consistency, but blend away if you have a smoother preference.

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Peppers, herbs, onions and garlic going through an initial blend.

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Ready to eat!

That’s it!  I like to let the sauce sit a bit, even overnight to let the flavor meld.  When I make more than 1 blender full, I put all the batches in my dutch oven and simmer for a bit to let the flavors combine and more evenly distribute the ingredients.   You certainly can serve this right out of the blender though if you are only working with 1 batch. 

Proposals:

Top on pasta, chicken parmesan, pizza!  Great for dipping grilled cheeses.  Ditch the balsamic, in place of white vinegar, and basil/oregano in place of cilantro, and add extra peppers and onions during roasting for a great salsa. 

Closing Remarks:

I love to make a big batch of this Off the Vine Marinara and can a few jars for the winter.  Just last week, I roasted 4 sheets of tomatoes and got about 8 assorted size jars of sauce!  Trust me, when the winter months arrive, you’ll appreciate the taste of the fresh tomatoes!

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Off the Vine Marinara Sauce
Fresh tomatoes, garlic, peppers, and onions roasted and quickly pureed to create a flavorful marinara sauce for pasta, pizza, and more.
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Ingredients
  1. About 10-15 medium/large tomatoes. You want enough to fill your pan generously. They'll shrink when you cook them!
  2. 1 sweet onion
  3. 1 red bell pepper
  4. 1 small bulb of garlic
  5. Olive oil
  6. Salt
  7. Quite a few cranks of fresh black pepper
  8. 1/4 c. fresh basil
  9. 1 T fresh oregano
  10. Balsamic vinegar
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Start by quartering large tomatoes or halving any medium tomatoes, cutting the bell pepper in half and removing seeds, and peeling the onion and quartering it. Add all these vegetables onto the pan and hand toss with the about 2 T olive oil and 1 t. salt and fresh black pepper. Make sure the red pepper halves are skin side up. Place the pan in the oven and roast for 1 hour.
  2. About 15 minutes into the hour of roasting, roast the garlic. Start by cuting the top (pointy side) off the bulb of garlic, exposing the cloves inside, then drizzle them with about a 1/2 t of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Wrap the garlic bulb in foil leaving the cut side of the garlic facing up. Place the garlic pack in the oven, to the side of the sheet pan, right on the wire rack. Roast the garlic for about 35-40 minutes with the remaining time of the tomatoes.
  3. After cooking is complete, remove the garlic and vegetables from the oven. Lightly cover the pan with foil and let them rest for 20-30 minutes. Open the garlic pack to let steam escape and cool down.
  4. Once the veggies have sat and they are cool enough to handle, skin the tomatoes and peppers.
  5. In the blender, squeeze the roasted garlic from the bulb, add fresh herbs, bell pepper and onion, and about 1 T of balsamic vinegar. You want to mix these in the blender first so that they are a smooth consistency. Once pureed, add the tomatoes and all their juices and pulse the blender about 5 times to combine.
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