Below is my simple recipe for marinara sauce. I always say that as long as it takes for your water to boil in order to cook your pasta you can have a fresh sauce. Also, you should always read the packaging of your pasta. It will always give you an accurate time for how long it will cook to get al dente pasta. I always place my pasta into boiling salted water and give it good stirring and set my timer. No need to check it to see done. When your timer rings, I am sure your pasta will be ready!
1 28oz can of San Marzano Whole Peeled Tomatoes, (pureed)
3 to 4 cloves of Garlic, Chopped
1 large Shallot, Minced (optional)
¼ to ½ teaspoon of Crushed Red Pepper (depending on how spicy you like it)
¼ cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Mediterranean Bay Leaf
½ cup of Red Wine (preferably Chianti)
Sea Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper to taste.
First, place a large frying pan or sauté pan over medium / high heat until pan is warm and when splashed with a dash of water it sizzles dry. Add your Olive Oil and let it heat though. Add your Garlic, Shallot (if using) and the Crushed Red Pepper, be sure to stir it all together so that it will cook evenly. Let it all simmer and become real fragrant. Keep an eye on your garlic; you do not want it to become browned.
Next, once garlic is fragrant and becoming lightly golden - add the can of tomatoes that you pureed. (Be careful, it has a tendency to splatter.) Give it a good stir and the add your Bay Leaf. Once all your ingredients are simmering nicely you can add in your wine and give it another good stirring. (I like to be sure your heat is at least medium at this point.) You are stirring it to see a cohesive sauce…not with spots of wine and olive oil amongst your tomato puree.
Then, I give it a taste and see how much salt and pepper I need to add. Everyone has their own opinion on what “salty” is. I let it all simmer together at least another ten minutes. You want your sauce to be thickened, but not too thick. I find some stoves are different than others, in which case it might need another five to ten minutes to get to your desired consistency. You will need to fish out the bay leaf at this point too for it is not edible.
Finally, I drain my pasta and place it in a bowl and ladle enough sauce to coat your pasta and then mix together. This is more than enough sauce for ½ to 1 pound of pasta. I reserve the remaining sauce and use it later in the week or freeze it for another day. I top my pasta upon serving with some freshly grated parmesan cheese before eating.
Note: sometimes I will add freshly chopped basil upon serving…but only when in season. Also, if I am making this when I am planning on using it for a pizza I add pinch or two of dried oregano when I add the bay leaf.