marina sauce without canned tomatoes

In an effort to leave a little less of a ‘footprint,’ I am reducing my use of canned food.  Given that I like to cook with coconut milk, this endeavor was initially challenging, however, I’ve recently “conquered” this mini-obstacle.  I am residing in a small town in Germany through next March, so I’m grateful to have found a health food store about twenty minutes out of town, as it stocks these eco-friendly options that I’m accustomed to finding in my favorite California grocery stores.

I also want to note that this sauce is very low in sugar – not a typical characteristic of jarred marinara.  Given that I have to be mindful of my sugar intake these days, I have grown all too aware of the excess sugar in, what seems like, almost any non-whole food product. Here’s a comparison of jarred marinara and fresh marinara:

*Average packaged marinara sauce = 11 g sugar in 1/2 cup  

I made some VERY rough calculations and would guesstimate the following in regards to the sugar content in my sauce: 

*Marinara Sauce without canned tomatoes = 4 g sugar in 1/2 cup

ingredients

~ 2 tablespoons of olive oil

~ 8 medium-sized, organic tomatoes

1 onion, chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

4 to 5 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon of tomato paste (optional)

1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (if you like a little sass to your sauce)

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

blanching tomatoes

*complete this step first

score an “x” on end opposite the core of the tomato

bring a pot of water to a boil

add the tomatoes to the pot and let boil for 30 seconds

remove tomatoes from pot and immediately immerse into a bowl of ice water

after a couple minutes, remove the tomato peel and cut each tomato into about two inch cubes

making the marinara

heat olive oil over medium heat, add onions and salt – saute for about 4 minutes

add garlic, red pepper flakes and bay leaf – saute for another couple minutes

add tomatoes and tomato paste into the pot and bring to a boil – hard simmer for about 15-20 minutes

add basil, oregano, a pinch more salt and the honey – hard simmer for another 15-20 minutes

add balsamic vinegar – taste test to see if you want to add more balsamic, honey, salt or pepper

use immersion blender to give the sauce a quick blend for a smooth/even texture

note: my immersion blender just broke, so you’ll see that my sauce looks a bit chunky/unfinished

ciao!

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