Monday, February 27, 2012

Chunky Marinara sauce

This recipe originally came from the same freezer book as the last 2 recipes.  However, I added to it.  I doubled the recipe, added carrots, removed the sugar, added lots more spices, and still didn't like it as much as my regular spaghetti sauce.  I did like the use of lots of extra veggies.  I chopped them in the food processor so that went quick.  I loved that for all of the veggies except the onions.  I always hate to chop onions in the food processor because for some reason they end up smelling to strong, plus they get a little over-processed and a little too wet - even when not truly over-processed.  Anyway, if making this again, I would definitely chop my onions by hand.  I'd also probably leave out the green peppers - sub in some red, but maybe not as many.  I thought this had a bit too strong of onion and green pepper flavor.  It does get posted though, just to remind me that I can add celery and carrots to my regular spaghetti sauce and it works well.
This is how I made the double batch.  Some of my substitutions were of necessity, some just creativity.\


  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3 large onions, finely chop (hand chop -they are better I promise)
  • 3 large green peppers, finely chopped
  • 1 large red pepper, finely chopped (I actually use the mini sweets, but I use about 1 regular pepper's worth)
  • 6 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 6 carrots, finely copped
  • 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 4 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes (I actually ended up using 8 15 oz, but just because it is what I stock in my pantry.  Definitely if just purchasing for this I would buy the bigger cans)
  • 2 6 oz. cans tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon thyme
  • 1 Tablespoon basil
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  1. In a large skillet heat butter over medium high heat.  Add onions and saute until onions are soft and translucent.  Transfer to a 5-6 quart slow cooker.  (This barely fit in my 5 quart and I mean barely.  I had to stir very carefully.)
  2. In the same skillet, heat oil and add the remaining vegetables.  Saute for 3 minutes.  Add garlic and saute for a couple more minutes.  Transfer to slow cooker.
  3. Add remaining ingredients to slow cooker.  Stir well.  Cook on low for 6-8 house or on high for 4-5.  Remove bay leaves.  Cool completely if planning to freeze immediately.
We used 1/2 of this or so for spaghetti the first night I made it, then used some for the pizza bites I made the next day.  The rest went into the freezer.

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