Saturday, January 4, 2014

National Spaghetti Day - January 4th

January 4th is Spaghetti Day. One of the first meals I remember cooking for my family when I was young was spaghetti. For my family, this meant cooking a big pot of spaghetti noodles, browning some hamburger, adding a jar of spaghetti sauce, and mixing it all together. I honestly don't even remember the first time I had spaghetti served to me with the sauce ladled over the top, but it was almost certainly at a restaurant.

Making marinara (red sauce) is so easy, I'm convinced the only reason people don't do it more often is because of the time involved. Even though I work from home, and have since my daughter was little, I've only made it a few times. The very best way to make this is with produce fresh from your own garden or from the farmer's market in the summertime. 

Garden Fresh Marinara  
1/4 C olive oil
8 large fresh tomatoes
1 small green pepper
1 small yellow pepper
1 small onion
1 C. sliced mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp Italian seasoning, or to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
Directions: In a large pot, pour the olive oil, and turn the heat on the lowest setting. Core the tomatoes, remove seeds, and finely chop 4 of them; purée the other four. Add the tomatoes to the pot. Chop the peppers and the onion fine, slice the mushrooms, and mince the garlic, and add to the tomato mixture. Stir in the sugar and seasonings. Simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally. Serve over pasta. Freeze what you don’t use, and you’ll have fresh marinara for another night.
Variation: Like it spicy? Add crushed red pepper flakes, or a fresh chopped banana pepper, to taste.

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