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Neapolitan Style Marinara Sauce

Neapolitan Style Marinara Sauce

Though a slow-cooked “pomarola” tomato sauce that simmers for hours is well worth the time and effort, there are times when you want something quicker, which is when this classic Neapolitan tomato sauce, known as “marinara” in the United States, comes into play. It’s ideal for pasta, but it also works well on pizza, as a dipping sauce, or as an ingredient in a variety of other dishes.

If tomatoes are not in season, you can substitute canned whole plum tomatoes (drain and seed them).

Yield: 1

Neapolitan Style Marinara Sauce

Neapolitan-Style Marinara Sauce recipe

This quick and easy recipe begins with fresh plum tomatoes and yields about 1 1/4 pounds of sauce (1 large jar) in about 15 minutes. There's no need to buy jarred pasta sauce again!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 pounds very ripe plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, (peeled and lightly crushed)
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)
  • 12 fresh basil leaves, washed (dried and chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions

    1. This quick and easy recipe begins with fresh plum tomatoes and yields about 1 1/4 pounds of sauce (1 large jar) in about 15 minutes. There's no need to buy jarred pasta sauce again!
    2. Though a slow-cooked "pomarola" tomato sauce that simmers for hours is well worth the time and effort, there are times when you want something quicker, which is when this classic Neapolitan tomato sauce, known as "marinara" in the United States, comes into play. It's ideal for pasta, but it also works well on pizza, as a dipping sauce, or as an ingredient in a variety of other dishes.
    3. If tomatoes are not in season, you can substitute canned whole plum tomatoes (drain and seed them).
    4. Bring a large, covered pot of water to a boil over high heat.
    5. Meanwhile, wash and core the tomatoes, then cut a "X" shape into the tip of each one with the tip of a sharp paring knife (this will make the peels easier to remove). Place the tomatoes in a pot of boiling water for 1 minute to blanch them, then remove with a slotted spoon.
    6. Peel the tomatoes (beginning with the tips formed by the X shape you cut), discarding the skins. Place the tomatoes, seeded and sliced, in a large mixing bowl.
    7. Heat the oil and garlic in a separate large pot (traditionalists use terracotta; you don't have to use terracotta, but use a nonreactive pot, such as stainless steel, glass, or enameled cast iron; do not use an aluminum or uncoated iron or cast-iron pot to avoid unpleasantly metallic-tasting, not to mention unhealthy, sauce), and stir in the tomatoes before the garlic begins to brown. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes over low heat.
    8. Stir in the basil and continue to cook for 5 minutes before removing from the heat. Whisk in the extra-virgin olive oil until it's completely emulsified into the sauce.
    9. Allow about 1/4 cup sauce (or more, to taste) and 1/4 pound pasta per serving if serving over pasta; serve the pasta with grated cheese on the side.
    10. To keep the sauce from becoming too thick, make sure the oil doesn't get too hot before adding the tomatoes. In addition, some older Neapolitan cooks made this sauce with lard rather than oil.

Notes

  • Allow about 1/4 cup sauce (or more, to taste) and 1/4 pound pasta per serving if serving over pasta; serve the pasta with grated cheese on the side.
  • To keep the sauce from becoming too thick, make sure the oil doesn't get too hot before adding the tomatoes. In addition, some older Neapolitan cooks made this sauce with lard rather than oil.

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