Sunday dinner

If I could bottle the feeling of a perfect Sunday - it would be marinara simmering with fresh basil from the garden, music in the background, and dinner with my family. This recipe is very much inspired by my Nonni, who made a huge pot of marinara every Sunday - a tradition that I hope to hold on to. After church, I would sit on her pink velvet couch (she was fab) and could not wait for dinner to be ready. When my best friend Renee started cooking she made this recipe and now its one of her staple dishes - and hers is amazing. It's good to make double and freeze one, especially in the winter, for a homemade meal in minutes. Also - if your cooking for a guy, this is a quick way to their heart. Enjoy! Xo

 This recipe takes little time and can be easily doubled for more guests. In the image above, I'm making enough for 16 at one of my favorite restaurants in the North End. 

This recipe takes little time and can be easily doubled for more guests. In the image above, I'm making enough for 16 at one of my favorite restaurants in the North End. 

Total time: 25 minutes

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

6 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 Cans of whole – peeled tomatoes. Pastene Kitchen Ready Tomatoes are my faves.

1 clove garlic, minced

1 small finely diced yellow onion

1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste (to thicken)

Italian seasonings: 1 bay leaf, fresh thyme, oregano, basil. For dried herbs, McCormick Tuscan Seasoning

2 boxes of pasta (your choice)

parmesan cheese to taste

     

1. Sauté: Warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté until translucent, 5 minutes. Lesson the heat a bit and stir in the garlic and sauté about 30 seconds.  

2.     Tomatoes: Add the tomatoes to the pan with the onions and garlic. 

3.     Herbs: Add herbs to the pan with the sauce. For dried herbs, grind 1 teaspoon of herbs in your hand or in a pestle. Then add the bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Save the basil for the very end, when sauce is ready to serve. (Tip: basil grows well in almost any environment and is a nice start to a windowsill garden. It makes your kitchen smell beautiful in the sunlight). 

4.     Simmer: Bring the sauce to a rapid simmer, then lower the heat to medium-low. Keep on low if you exceed the 25-minute cooking time. You must cook for at least 25minutes, but this sauce can simmer on the stove for up to an hour and a half. The consistency will slightly reduce and thicken when it’s ready. 

5.     Add basil and a teaspoon of parmesan cheese to taste 

6.     Pasta: While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta. Ziti, linguine, tagliatelle all make a nice choice. When you’re serving for more than 4, I always stick with ziti because it’s a bit easier to serve. 

7.     Enjoy! Compliments to this meal are caprice salad and meatballs

Tip:  to lighten the color of the marinara (and to cut out some of the acidity of the tomatoes) stir 1 tablespoon of heavy cream slowly into the sauce towards the end of the cook time.