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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Our First Recipe - Marinara Sauce (Submitted)

Well we are off and running. Our first Recipe submitted on the first day of the Blog!

Thanks to Cath Smith from Ohio who submitted this recipe to Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen. She writes:
Marinara Sauce:

Why on earth anyone buys Marinara sauce, I will never know. It really is easy to make - I'm the kind of person who can burn pasta, but even I can make this one.

So, you're going to need:
  1. 2 (large) tins of tomatoes - any kind will do, but I use sun-ripened crushed tomatoes because I prefer the flavor.
  2. 1/2 tin (tomato tin) of water
  3. 1 clove garlic
  4. Olive oil (editors note here - the olive oil should always be the best you can get even in cooking. In later posts the difference in grades of olive oil will be explained.)
  5. Oregano (dried works best here)
  6. Black pepper
  7. Large Saucepan or Frying Pan or Small Pot (not to deep unless you are making a lot)

Mince the garlic, trying your hardest not to cut any fingers in the process.
Open tins of tomatoes.
Check that stew pot or very large saucepan is clean (clean it if it isn't)
Turn on hob to full.


Put a good dash of olive oil in the bottom of the stew pot while it is cold (that's important or you'll burn the garlic). Add garlic and put the pan on the hob. Cook for about the length of time it takes you to open the two tins of tomatoes.

Empty both tins of tomatoes into the pot - carefully, it might spit a little because of the oil. Make sure that the pot isn't too full because this is going to boil and spit during cooking and it can get messy.

Fill half of one of the tins with water and add that into the pot too.

Add in a small handful of oregano (I use about a teaspoonful) and black pepper to taste (again about a teaspoonful, but I like it peppery, so you might want to cut back on that bit).

Bring the contents of the pot up to a boil then turn down to a simmer and leave for between an hour and three hours (or until the sauce is as thick as you want it - don't reduce by more than 1/2). I like it fairly sloppy (editor: not thick), so I only cook it for an hour.

And there's your sauce. I like to store it in jam jars in the refrigerator for no more than a week, but you can also freeze it.

It's a great staple to have in the refrigerator because you can use it for topping pizza, as a simple pasta sauce (providing you don't burn the pasta, of course!) or with some ground beef to make a meat based sauce (amongst other things, but that's another recipe).

Editor's Notes

Ease of Making: Two Stars
See Rating System Explanation Here
(1 Easiest to 5 Most Difficult - this gets two stars because it does involve some cooking but is really easy)

The great thing about Cath Smith's recipe is that it is easy to start off with. It is also something you can cook and leave to simmer without too much worry and mess (unless you are like me and totally forget it on the fire!) Then you can put in the fridge and use it for all the things Cath suggests and then some. We are going to discuss spices, oils (especially the different grades of virgin oil) and utensils in future postings. We will be devoting quite a few posts to help you understand how to pick the best pots for the least amount of money as well, as pots can become a fairly huge expense, especially when you are a man listening to the captivating voice of that beautiful saleswomen! But as I promised all this will be interspersed with submitted recipes and stories as well. If you are looking for specific recipes just use the Category options on your right. Hopefully it will whittle down just what you are looking for. Or use the blog search on top in the Nav Bar.

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