Thursday, August 23, 2012

Very Veggie Marinara

First- big news! The munckin has gone from a high chair to a booster seat! We picked up a cheap one the other day to give it a try.  He's been getting more and more reluctant to sit in his high chair.  I figured he probably wanted to be at the table with everyone else instead of separated.  He seems so much happier to be in the action.  I still have the high chair out for times when I want to give him a snack while I'm make dinner, but for meals I think he is going to transition full time to the booster.  I can't believe how big he is getting.
First meal in his big boy chair!

In this week's farmshare we had a bunch of beautiful heirloom tomatoes.  I knew I needed to do something with them quickly so that they didn't go to waste.  So it was time to make marinara.  yum.  Making pasta sauce is one of my favorite, albeit time and labor intensive, cooking tasks.  There is really nothing like homemade sauce, jars just can't compare.  I put a ton of veggies in my sauce, whatever is on hand, which mellows the acidity of the tomatoes and gives the sauce a really complex flavor. Plus it is a great way to hide some of the veggies the munchkin might not normally eat and get him even more nutrients. (though to be fair this kiddo is a great eater and hardly ever gives me a hard time about veggies *knocks on wood*

Like with pesto, I don't really follow a set recipe.


10 or so tomatoes (in the winter two cans of diced tomatoes is a good substitute for fresh)
1 large onion
5-6 cloves of garlic
An assortment of veggies- I always have at least carrots and celery- altogether about 4-5 cups of chopped veggies
1/4 cup olive olive
Herbs and spices to taste-  I used salt, oregano, thyme, parsley,  and basil.  When I know Ian wont eat it, I throw in a teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
1/2-1 cup of red wine

Here are the veggies ready to go. 

1. Get some water boiling 

2. Prepare an ice bath

3. Once the water is at a rolling boil, take your tomatoes, remove the stems and drop a few in at a time.  Once the skin starts to wrinkle (about 1 minute)...

Pull them out and drop them in the ice bath.  

4. Peel the tomatoes and squeeze out the seeds.  The hot water and ice bath makes the skin practically fall off.  Ian tells me that running them over the fire on a gas stove also works.  I've never tried that. 

Peeled and seeded tomatoes. Notice the baby monitor- the munchkin was actually napping in bed. sweet!

5. Chop your veggies and saute with the olive oil.  In here I have onion, garlic, carrots, celery, a bell pepper, a cucumber, a summer squash, some broccoli, and 3 beets. The beets give a great color and sweetness to the sauce.  All these veggies came from our farmshare. Have I mentioned how much I love having a farmshare? I <3 Red Fire Farm

6. While your veggies soften blend up your tomatoes

7. When the veggies are a little soft you can add the tomato puree... then add your herbs, bring everything to a boil, then set it to a simmer.

8. Simmer the tomatoes until all the veggies are soft, about 20 minutes.

9.  Throw it all back in the blender and puree.  You will probably have to do this in batches or use an immersion blender.

10.  Add your wine.  

11. Simmer, simmer, simmer, simmer.  The longer you simmer the richer the sauce becomes.  I let this batch go about 3 hours.

The munchkin playing an awesome pots and pans drum solo while I cooked

This delicious looking eggplant

became this even more delicious dairy and gluten free eggplant parm.

definitely munchkin approved.


1 comment:

  1. I envy you and others who enjoy making marinara. Unfortunately, I can't seem to ever find the patience to do it the right way and make it worth it :)