I have always imagined life on a farm to be very romantic. Fresh air, fresh food and large expanse of lush green. When I think of a farm I think of kids playing in open fields, clothes hanging on a clothes line…a farmer on his tractor and it’s always bright sunshine. I know my vision is more fiction than factual, life on a farm is not as easy as it looks, but this is my vision that I don’t want to spoil it. A simple life with none of the complexities that we urban dwellers face.
My farm (read garden) is a super tiny space, full of flowers but not much of veggies, some herbs. Even with the limited things I grow, I feel there is nothing that gives me more pleasure then a fresh tomato or a fresh leaf of basil from my yard. It’s just a feeling of fulfillment, hard to describe. Cooking with that, elevates it to a whole new level. Am a die hard romantic at heart and food for me is like romance, it is art. It’s not just a recipe. Food brings people together like nothing else does, it engages all your senses and it’s an experience. Even the most practical souls among us would have had cravings, it’s not just a requirement of your taste buds it’s more. It’s memories, it’s a romantic connection. I am not great with words but I hope my images have captured what my words can’t describe.
It will be hard for me to go back to the branded marinara sauce after I have made this from scratch. This was a small batch, I might make a large batch and bottle it. I know some of you asked me (on fb) about shelf life, when I posted the pic of the process yesterday. So if you want to can these and save them, here are the canning instructions . On its own, please refrigerate after 24 hrs of making it, should be good for 10-15 days. Its just four ingredients.
I checked many recipes on the internet before I made this, a lot of them use carrots and/or red bell pepper. The tomatoes I used were not tart so I did not use anything but ripe tomatoes.
2 large yellow onion
4 lbs of red tomatoes pealed and seeded
half (big one) garlic head
3/4 cup of fresh basil leaves chopped
3/4 cup olive oil
3-4 bay leaf
rock salt to taste
1 tbsp shugar
Finely chop the onions, deseed the tomatoes and remove the skin (optional). The best way to remove skin of a tomato is to poke it with a fork and hold it over the gas flame. its super easy to peel off then. In a large sauce pan heat half of the olive oil and add bay leaves, sauté the onions till translucent, chop garlic and add it. Roast for a min or two and add the tomatoes, salt, bring to boil. Now let it simmer for 2 hours, occasionally stir it. Add the remaining olive oil, fresh basil, sugar and roast for another 30 min. Simmer till the sauce is reduced to less than half. Let it cool, then bottle it, you can keep it out for 24 hours, then refrigerate. If you find it chunky, blend it after it has cooled, personally I love chunky so I left it like that.
Marinara Sauce is very versatile, you can make amazing pesto with it, recipe here.
Picture heavy post, went overboard :)