Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Homemade Red Wine Marinara Sauce


It was a great summer for tomatoes in my garden!  Even though the heavy rains and high temperatures stressed them tremendously, I was still able to pick more tomatoes than my husband and I could eat, even after giving many away.  I still have some ripening on my plants!

 

Last year, I tried freezing tomatoes whole, thinking I would use them in soups and stews, but I didn't use as many as I had hoped.  This year, I decided to make marinara sauce with my tomatoes to freeze and use in various pasta dishes or as a dip for eggplant or calamari throughout the fall and winter.  As of today, I've made three batches of marinara and have 14 pint jars in my freezer.  A pint of sauce is just about perfect for two.  


You could also use a water bath canning method with this but I think the frozen sauce tastes even more like garden fresh sauce.  I've adapted this recipe from several recipes and after three batches of tweaking the recipe, this tastes about as perfect as a marinara sauce can get.


Garlic, tomatoes, chopped basil and sprigs of oregano all from my garden.  Heavenly! 


A generous pour of red wine and then slowly simmered for up to five hours on the stove top to reduce to a sauce consistency and meld the flavors, I then used my immersion blender to whir it into a smooth sauce but you can leave it as coarse as you like. 


If you are still harvesting tomatoes, or have access to a farm stand or farmer's market, look for imperfect tomatoes that are sold at a discount.  You can always cut out any blemishes or brown spots before adding them to the pot.  Pick up some fresh basil and oregano while you're at it and one or two nice yellow tomatoes.  You'll have a great tasting, thick marinara sauce in an afternoon without spending a ton of time!


We're enjoying some beautiful early fall hues of purple, red and yellow in the garden and I'm not only still picking tomatoes but also flowers for bouquets.


I pulled out one of my mother's old ceramic pitchers (I think it might actually be a coffee or tea pot) to use as a vase.  I thought it suited the harvest season :)  Happy fall and harvest cooking!

Homemade Red Wine Marinara Sauce

Printable Recipe

Makes about 4-5 pints of sauce.

Recipe may be doubled or even tripled if you have a lot of tomatoes to use.  Cooking time will vary according to how many tomatoes you are using.  You may use canned tomatoes and dried herbs but you won't get the same, garden-fresh flavor.

4 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup finely chopped yellow onion
4 pounds tomatoes (about 8-9 large) peeled and coarsely chopped, including juices
4 large cloves of garlic, minced or finely chopped (about 2 teaspoons)
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, chopped
3/4 cup hearty red wine, such as cabernet or burgundy
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon sugar

Note: The easiest way to peel tomatoes is to score the bottoms with an X using a sharp, serrated knife and put them into a pot of boiling water for about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer them to a large bowl of ice water. The skin will peel off easily with your hands. Do this in batches until all of your tomatoes are peeled.

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add chopped onion and sauté until softened, stirring frequently, about 4 minutes, add minced garlic and sauté for another minute.

Add the rest of the ingredients and stir together. Bring the liquid from the tomatoes to a boil and then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 3 to 5 hours, stirring occasionally until reduced to a sauce consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference.

Use an immersion blender, or a regular blender in small batches, process the sauce until it is as smooth as you like.  If desired, you can strain the sauce through a medium mesh strainer but it’s not necessary.

29 comments:

  1. Congrats on the tomato harvest! My son's garden had a good year but the critters helped themselves to many... Happy Fall-enjoy:@)

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    1. Thank you, Lynn! Just picked 3 more today but definitely winding down.

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  2. The bouquets from your garden look so gorgeous! You are a great gardener, Susan. I haven't had pasta in ages...the sauce with red wine sounds and looks so good, esp. if using the fresh harvested tomatoes.

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    1. Thank you, Angie! I do love to garden, both tomatoes and flowers :) I'll bet this sauce would be delicious with chicken or seafood too!

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  3. There is nothing better than a homemade tomato sauce. Yours looks delicious. My friend has a lot of tomatoes in his garden. I have to see if he shares some with me.

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    1. Very true, and hope you get some tomatoes from your friend! Thank you, Gerlinde!

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  4. What a splendid harvest! The sauce looks wonderful. Your mother’s yellow pepper vase is delightful. Have never seen one like it.

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    1. Thank you, Vee! Isn't it cute? She loved ceramics :)

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  5. It's so satisfying to have a freezer full of homemade anything for a winter stash. Before we downsized I always had a bumper crop of tomatoes. I planted about 7 - 10 tomato plants each year. Now my one little patio plant is all I have. I love your red wine marinara sauce. I must give it a try.

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    1. So satisfying! I planted 9 tomato plants this year! I think I have enough tomatoes to make another batch this weekend :) Thank you, Lea Ann!

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  6. In my mind, there is no better way to enjoy a bit of summer on those cold winter nights to come than canned marinara made with garden fresh tomatoes. Your recipes certainly honor your fine tomatoes well. I love the yellow pepper tea pot.

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  7. Great idea to just freeze!I will!Nothing makes my mouth water like pasta..many many ways!!
    May I add how smitten I am with you mom's pepper pitcher?😍Oh you made it proud.Perfectly photographed ma petite amie!

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    1. I think it's what we crave in cooler weather :) I do love the pepper pot too and how one side shows the inside and seeds ♥ Thank you, Dear Monique!

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  8. Wow Susan, all kind of size and shape of tomatoes...and the sauce looks fabulous...what a great idea to freeze for later use.
    I hope you are having a wonderful week!

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    1. This will be one thing to look forward to in winter :) Thank you, Juliana!

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  9. We love a delicious marinara sauce especially one that is made from the heart and not store bought. Your sauce is perfect and sounds amazing Sue! Can't go wrong with red wine- that's for sure. And I love seeing the blooms from your garden every time - you have the magic green thumb! Great post!

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    1. That is high praise coming from you :) Thanks so much!

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  10. Your homemade sauce sounds heavenly, Susan, and all from your garden. You'll get to enjoy summer's bounty for all Fall and Winter. Your garden flowers are so pretty and your bouquet looks beautiful in your mom's yellow pepper teapot/coffeepot.

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    1. Thank you, Kitty! In a couple of weeks we'll be getting close to our average first frost date here so fingers crossed we are later than usual this year :)

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  11. We love marinara sauce and your red wine recipes sounds delicious, Susan! I only wish I had some of those gorgeous vine-ripened tomatoes to make a batch! My thumb is not nearly as green as yours and your garden is beautiful :)

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    1. There's always the farmers' market, Marcelle :) Thanks so much!!

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  12. This looks wonderful ! I love tomatoes Susan :)

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    1. I love tomatoes too. Can't get enough our season is so short. Thank you, Dear Gloria!

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  13. I would so love to learn how to preserve/can. This looks amazing!

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    1. I froze my homemade marinara, Maris. No canning skills necessary :) Thank you!

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  14. I am so impressed with your freezing of Marinara sauce and the bounty of your garden. Between you and Monique, I can't choose between who I admire most. You both win. Sisters in spirit. I also love the pepper pot. Glad to be a part of your world.

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  15. The marinara sauce looks yummy! :)
    Thanks for the recipe.
    Xo

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