Fall is a beautiful time of year in New England. We’re known for foliage, cider, crunchy leaves and tart apple crisp baking in the oven. For us, it’s the most valuable time of year, something that sets us apart from the rest of the country! I had the chance to visit Tufts Park in central Mass and wow, was it beautiful. Rolled hay, dozens of horses running through the fields, leaves tumbling down from the trees and the smell of summers end. In fact, fall reminds me of all the things we’ve shed throughout summer – jackets, sweaters, layers that one by one make their way back into our lives. Recipes too, follow this trend. For a while I was making varieties of summer desserts, lighter sauces and aromatic lemony goodness. Now, comes the season where we layer back flavor, bold, complex and unapologetically spiced.
I think I’m going to hold off on apple crisp until next week, but what I will share, is a marinara recipe inspired by dad. My dad is not only a man of his garden, but a guy who spends his entire Sunday patiently tending to marinara’s and soups alike.
Here is a marinara recipe we all love, using our fresh tomatoes produced by all 70 plants we harvest!
Step 1: 15-25 small to medium tomatoes – washed, de-stemmed, halved, but not peeled. Drizzle with olive oil, 1/2 tsp of salt
Place in pot, slow slow simmer on low, breaking up tomatoes with wooden spoon (if you don’t have fresh tomatoes, 2 large (28oz cans) of San Marzano peeled tomatoes will work just fine. Skip the steps here, skip to Step 2 – garlic and onion below:
Reduce liquid by continuing to simmer on low. Strain out larger pieces of peels if desired. Continue this process for about 1 hour monitoring and thickening the sauce, reducing the liquid by half.
2.) In separate pot, Peel 2 tsp of garlic, minced
Place in pan, simmer garlic with 1 chopped yellow onion, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper until onions are “sweat” – clear and slightly caramelized.
3.) COMBINE – Add reduced tomato sauce to onions and garlic, bring mixture to medium heat, stirring often. Reduce heat, to medium low, continue to simmer until sauce thickens. Stir often.
4.) Next, shred one small block of good Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. I don’t skimp, I go to a nice grocery store for cheeses, especially when you’re making a large quantity. Most grocery cheeses I find to be overly salty, not robust in flavor! The reason to get the block, is because cheese that is already pre-shredded loses its flavor while it sits in the package. Freshly shredded is better! Add to sauce once sauce is reduced by half and thickened. WARNING: Parmigiano-Reggiano is salty by nature. This is why we haven’t been over-salting every step – but enough to build flavor along the way at every layer.
5.) Roll a small bunch – 4-5 basil leaves up into a cigar shape, slice on an angle, add to sauce. Chop one small bunch of flat leaf parsley, add to sauce, stir.
Taste your sauce, continue to salt and pepper to your liking. Reduce, simmer on low until sauce has come together, is thickened and delicious!
Place over Rienzi Gluten Free pasta or Gluten Free Penne and enjoy!
Leftover sauce can be frozen once it’s cooled and (almost) eaten!
Photo Credit www.tradingspaces.com