Monday, April 11, 2011

Wherein the Lad gushes about sauce

And I'm not even talking about "the sauce" this time. Seriously - this weekend was a big gay bender in the sun, and now this week calls for detox. I need to conserve cash, cause bitch...cocktails are expensive. Today I decided to do an impromptu ONE DAY 10% OFF SALE at the Etsy shop, so that's keeping me busy. I will also be beginning my stint as Creative Director for a huge steampunk extravaganza at Navy Pier this week. This means the guy who works from home (me) has to find a way to get dinner prepared for the guy who works in the suburbs (him) with minimal trips to Whole Foods, because not only is it exhausting, but I inevitably buy stupid crap when I'm there, like bath salts or tins of tea. It must be something that can cook slowly today while I attend to the hundred tasks that demand my attention, something versatile that can be applied in many dishes, and I need it to freeze well. Enter: marinara sauce.

I toyed with the idea of cooking through Barbara Lynch's Stir last winter, but I'm no Julie Powell. I'm not even Erin Vargo. That project died before it saw the light of the interwebs. Stir is my favorite cookbook, hands down, which is saying a lot as we have a few dozen piled up everywhere. Modern, intelligent, fresh Italian cooking - nom. Everything I've prepared from the pages of this slick (and spatter-covered) tome has been a knock-out. If you're a home chef and think you know about Italian cuisine - BUY THIS BOOK. You can start with Barbara's recipe for Odd Fellow Marinara, a tried and true basic. I slap it on fresh pasta, pour it over polenta, use it as a dipping sauce for fresh breadsticks, slather it on pizzas, stuff it in calzones, smear it over crostini, pile it into meatball sandwiches and sausage and pepper rolls...seriously, make a triple batch like I do and freeze it in 1-cup portions. 

Odd Fellow Marinara Sauce
Makes 4 cups

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
½ cup dry white wine (Hmm - I use a strong red wine here, like a Syrah or a Zinfandel, which is beautiful)
One 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes, preferably imported San Marzano
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 to 3 basil leaves

1. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic
and crushed red pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is just tender but
not browned, about 8 minutes.

2. Add the wine, increase the heat to moderately high and cook for a few minutes longer,
until reduced by half. Add the tomatoes with their juice and ½ teaspoon salt. Simmer
for 5 minutes, stir in the basil and season with pepper and additional salt, if needed.
The sauce can be covered and refrigerated for up to 4 days.

1 comment:

  1. One can NEVER have too many books, or too many marinara recipes. XOXOX


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