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Homemade Marinara

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Q. I’d like to make my own classic marinara sauce using my garden tomatoes to enjoy year round. Do you have a favorite recipe and jarring or storing tips? – Graham, Little Chute

A. I’ve made my own marinara sauce for so many years I can recite it by heart. The proportion of ingredients is completely up to you. Start with olive oil and sauté some onions and garlic.  Core and chunk your tomatoes, but do not bother peeling or seeding them. Add the tomatoes and any other vegetable you want. I use carrots for sweetness, bell peppers for flavor and zucchini squash because they are plentiful. Bring the sauce to a boil and reduce to a simmer.  The tomatoes will release a lot of moisture so you will need to simmer the sauce for hours, stirring occasionally. As the sauce gets thicker the acidity of the tomatoes also dissipates. At this time I add oregano, basil, thyme, fennel seeds, salt and black pepper. After tasting, balance the sauce with brown sugar. The sauce should be well balanced with no one particular ingredient dominating. The final step is to puree the sauce using a blender to pulverize any remaining skins and seeds. Then I pour the sauce into quart-size zip bags and freeze them flat on sheet pans for easy storage.

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