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San Marzanos are the only tomatoes I will use in my sauce.

I have stated my boundaries.

Homemade marinara is almost as fast and tastes immeasurably better than even the best supermarket sauce — and it's made with basic pantry ingredients All the tricks to a bright red, lively-tasting sauce, made just as it is in the south of Italy (no butter, no onions) are in this recipe Use a skillet instead of the usual saucepan: the water evaporates quickly, so the tomatoes are just cooked through as the sauce becomes thick
NYT Cooking
replies 23Dec 6, 2017 8:58 AM +00:00

I like any of Cento's whole canned tomatoes. I once taste-tested batches of Bolognese alla Hazan and could perceive no difference. Neither could two of my prissiest Italophiles.

That's the marinara recipe I use, btw.

replies 1Dec 6, 2017 9:12 AM +00:00


replies 2Dec 6, 2017 9:12 AM +00:00

why is it called marinara sauce when there's nothing marine about it??

replies 3Dec 6, 2017 9:14 AM +00:00

Are you the idiot who posted in the comments that marinara must contain fish?

replies 4Dec 6, 2017 9:16 AM +00:00

^no, but that idiot was right. Here in Italy we call "alla marinara" any sauce with fish or seafood. Why you yankees call a sauce with no fish "marinara" is one of the reasons we think of you as stupidi cafoni

replies 5Dec 6, 2017 9:18 AM +00:00
Here in Italy we call "alla marinara" any sauce with fish or seafood.

That's not true.

The classic "marinara" is made with: tomato, olive oil, origano, garlic, salt, pepper

And that's it. That's the basic marina ingredient list. One can add anchovy, capers, parsley, hot pepper.

replies 6Dec 6, 2017 9:34 AM +00:00

Re: San Marzanos

If I lived in the States I'd look for a good US brand of canned tomato rather than buying imported. I can understand buying imported foods if they're clearly better...or unavailable otherwise, but there've got to be good tomatoes grown in the US too. No?

replies 7Dec 6, 2017 9:38 AM +00:00

Been rewatching The Sopranos and have been meaning to make a "gravy" as they call it on that show. I have never made a tomato sauce from scratch. I've just bought Preggo and slopped it on any pasta that would be on sale; but I'm gonna go with OP s recipe tomorrow and see how it goes.

replies 8Dec 6, 2017 9:41 AM +00:00

R6 is "Italian" from Ohio, maybe. Absolutely NOBODY calls tomato sauce "marinara" in Italy, Europe.

--italian from the south
replies 9Dec 6, 2017 9:41 AM +00:00

If you want good tomatoes here you have to grow your own. Tomatoes in US supermarkets are pale and flavorless.

replies 10Dec 6, 2017 9:45 AM +00:00

The only San Marzano tomatoes at my grocery come with basil in them (which may be standard, I don't know) so it limits what I can use them for.

replies 11Dec 6, 2017 9:48 AM +00:00

For R9

Spaghetti alla marinara: un primo piatto semplice e veloce! Un sughetto che può sembrare banalissimo, ma credetemi è molto molto buono! Un piatto che nella s...
replies 12Dec 6, 2017 9:52 AM +00:00

I just heat up katsup.

replies 13Dec 6, 2017 10:01 AM +00:00

San Marzano tomatoes really do make a superior sauce. It's much sweeter than sauce made with standard canned tomatoes. I only add fresh basil, salt, and pepper. If I don't have time to make it myself, I like Mario Batali's tomato and basil jarred sauce better than any other I've tried. I've heard here that Mario is a putz, but he seems so naturally nice and friendly on his shows. Say it ain't so, DL!

And, R10 is right: the best sauce comes from home-grown tomatoes. I've only gotten to do that once, with tomatoes my father-in-law grew. It was perfection.

replies 14Dec 6, 2017 10:08 AM +00:00

You people have obviously not tasted Patsy's
replies 15Dec 6, 2017 10:12 AM +00:00

Italians make their tomato sauce mostly with canned tomatoes. You use fresh tomatoes only during the peak of tomato season. Otherwise you use canned.

replies 16Dec 6, 2017 10:17 AM +00:00

OP was clearly raised in a lower class household

replies 17Dec 6, 2017 10:17 AM +00:00

Someone who was Italian once told me that only Italians in America refer to red sauce as "gravy". In Italy they call it sauce.

replies 18Dec 6, 2017 10:25 AM +00:00

What's in Patsy's, R15? Stoli, Bolli, and ciggy butts?

replies 19Dec 6, 2017 10:42 AM +00:00
There are two explanations as to how the sauce came to be named for the sailors. One is that its ingredients – oil, tomato sauce, garlic and dried herbs – traveled well and didn’t spoil easily, as meat or fish did. The ingredients could be assembled quickly and easily, in about the same time it took pasta to cook, and the two together made a tasty, filling and inexpensive meal for men at sea. A more romantic story holds that when sailors’ wives spotted homeward bound ships on the horizon, they hurried to make this sauce so their hungry men could have a hot meal the minute they walked in the door. I favor the first explanation as the true story. It makes perfect sense, while the second one seems unlikely. If I were the wife of a man who’d been at sea without fruit, vegetables, or any meat but salt pork, I’d give him something fresh.

I love making my own tomato sauces. There are so many variations, although OP's recipe is a reliable standard. And I don't bother with San Marzano tomatoes any more, after reading that RedPack/Red Gold tomatoes (inexpensive and grown on family farms in Indiana) were selected as the best canned tomatoes

BTW, if you're the type of person who likes growing your own tomatoes, it's important to choose between 'determinate' and 'indeterminate' varieties. Most tomato plants or seeds sold are for 'indeterminate' varieties, which keep bearing tomatoes until they're killed by frost. But if you're the type who's going to can them, or cook a lot of sauce up and freeze it, you're better off buying 'determinate' varieties, which produce all their fruit pretty much at the same time. Those are the types usually grown for canning.

We taste-tasted to find out if these fancy regional Italian tomatoes really are better than other canned varieties.
replies 20Dec 6, 2017 2:03 PM +00:00

Thank you, R20 -- I've seen Red Gold here in the store lately, I'll try them next.

replies 21Dec 7, 2017 10:31 AM +00:00

R21, Thanks! I always keep plenty of cans of Red Gold tomatoes on hand, and love trying different tomato sauces. Of course, I buy fresh tomatoes when they're in season, but canned tomatoes are one of the few canned staples that I always have on hand. This is a nice, very distinct, Provençale tomato sauce from Julia Child, with orange peel, saffron and fennel seeds.

This is an under-the-radar basic from Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” featured in a New York Times article about readers’ favorite Child recipes It is a tomato sauce with onions, garlic and basil, raised high with a perfumed whiff of orange peel and coriander seed Make it when the farmers’ market is overflowing with good tomatoes, freeze it in plastic bags, and use it until there is no more
NYT Cooking
replies 22Dec 8, 2017 11:12 AM +00:00

I love him in Rebel Without A Cause. Too bad his gay trick killed him.

replies 23Dec 8, 2017 11:43 AM +00:00