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Recipes & Entertaining Ideas

Filtering by Tag: Sauce

Store-Bought Marinara Sauce, Revamped!

Marc J. Sievers

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I love a homemade, authentic marinara, but sometimes I just want to get dinner on the table fast without sacrificing an ounce of flavor. My version of an elevated store-bought pasta sauce is a fabulous (and quick!) way to add an extra kick to a jar of marinara.  The best part is that you probably already have most of what you need in your pantry! Make sure you start with a good bottle of red wine – you can drink the rest with dinner!  Tossing in some fresh basil at the end gives the sauce a burst of flavor (the heat hitting the basil opens up a whole new world of aromas) and adds a special touch that makes it look and taste like it has been slowly simmering away on the stove all afternoon!

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Ingredients 

  • Olive Oil – 3 tablespoons

  • Garlic – 2 cloves, finely minced

  • Red Pepper Flakes – ½ teaspoon

  • Sea Salt – ½ teaspoon

  • Black Pepper – ½ teaspoon, freshly cracked

  • Red Wine – ⅓ cup, favorite Italian variety

  • Marinara Sauce – (1) eighteen-ounce jar, favorite store-bought brand

  • Butter – 1 tablespoon, unsalted

  • Basil – ⅓ cup, roughly chopped, fresh

Directions

  1. In a large sauté pan set over medium-low heat, add the olive oil.  Once hot, add the garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.  Cook for 30 seconds, making sure not to burn the garlic. 

  2. Add the red wine and allow it to reduce by half, about 1-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

  3. Next, add the marinara sauce and heat until just under the simmering point. 

  4. Right before serving, stir in the butter and basil.  Serve over your favorite pasta.

Tip: If you want to be extra “naughty”, add a splash of heavy cream at the end to give this revamped sauce a slightly creamier texture.  I’ve never known cream to make anything taste worse!

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Home-Style Rustic Tomato Sauce

Marc J. Sievers

It’s a cold and snowy day here in Chicago, which is the perfect weather to stay home and test recipes!  So many of my days are spent in the kitchen cooking and baking.  Because of the chill in the air, I am making my FAVORITE sauce, Home-Style Tuscan Tomato Sauce.

Using San Marzano tomato’s will really showcase the flavors of this dish.

I’m going to serve it over roasted baby brussels sprouts with big shavings of Parmesan cheese, perfect for a hearty but healthy dinner.  This particular sauce is bursting with fresh vegetables, basil and cinnamon, which adds a bit of “warmth” to the overall taste.  ENJOY!


Home-Style Rustic Tomato Sauce

Ingredients (makes 8 cups)

  • San Marzano Tomatoes – 3 (28-ounce) cans, crushed

  • Yellow Onion – 1 small, ¼-inch diced

  • Red Onion – 1 small, ¼-inch diced

  • Yellow Bell Pepper – 1 small, ¼-inch diced

  • Red Bell Pepper – 1 small, ¼-inch diced

  • Garlic – 6 cloves, minced

  • Kosher Salt – 2 teaspoons

  • Black Pepper – 2 teaspoons

  • Olive Oil – 2 tablespoons

  • Butter – 1 tablespoon, unsalted

  • Cinnamon – ⅛ teaspoon

  • Basil – 2 cups, freshly chopped

Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large heavy-bottomed pot.

  2. Add the onions, red and yellow bell peppers, salt, and black pepper to the hot pan and sauté over medium heat until translucent, or about 8 to 10 minutes.

  3. Next, add the garlic and cinnamon and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes.

  4. Stir in the tomatoes and basil and simmer uncovered on low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

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