12 Roma or Plum tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 onion, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
1 sprig fresh basil


1. Par boil the tomatoes in water for I minute. Remove skins, slice in half and remove seeds.
2. Sauté garlic and onion in pan with the olive oil until soft.
3. Combine all ingredients in pan over medium heat until blended and cooked.

Recipe courtesy of Julie Geary, Classic Cooks Catering, 2011.
Marinara sauce is a popular, robust Italian sauce made with tomatoes, onions, and herbs. This red sauce tends to be a bit spicier than other standard tomato sauces, with large amounts of garlic, oregano, basil, and even hot chili peppers. It is generally quick and easy to prepare, making it popular for many a busy cook. . The sauce's simplicity also makes it a common, versatile base for many Italian dishes.

Although marinara sauce has traditionally been used to naturally highlight the mild taste of pasta such as linguini, it is also a popular dipping sauce for finger foods like fried cheese sticks and calzones. Marinara sauce can also be used to add a little zest to meat dishes such as chicken, veal parmigiano, pork, and grilled seafood. You can even spice up a burger or a chicken filet sandwich by using marinara in place of the more traditional toppings.

In this case Julie Geary of Classic Cooks Catering makes the sauce for her Eggplant Rollatini dish, showing another reason why so many believe in its versatility. She also uses nearly all locally raised ingredients, making it all the more attractive this time of year.

Julie also does some extra work by par boiling the tomatoes, removing the skin and then removes the seeds. She says that this makes the sauce sweeter and less bitter.

Marinara sauce originated with sailors in Naples in the 16th century, after the Spanish introduced the tomato to their neighboring countries. The word marinara is derived from marinaro, which is Italian for "of the sea." Many people believe marinara sauce includes some type of fish or seafood because of the origins of the name, but that is rarely the case.
Marinara Sauce
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