Making Marinara

Olive oil sizzles w/chopped sweet red peppers and poblanos, diced red onions, and lots of fresh garlic. The air is full of this combination of amazing aromas. First the vegetables "sweat", and then diced and crushed tomatoes as well as a variety of fragrant herbs are added and the stovetop turned down to low. I've got a pot going that will yield a bit over 4 gallons; enough to use this evening and plenty to freeze in small batches for many dishes to come.

Marinara. A simple and versatile culinary creation.

Tonight, we'll have it with Angel Hair Pasta tossed in Olive Oil, Roasted Garlic, Shaved Romano/Pecorino, Fresh Parsley, and Ground Peppercorns. Sides of Fried Eggplant Rounds and Zucchini Wedges will pair nicely and are some of my sons' favorites.

For later use, I'll create a Creamy Tomato Basil Soup. Its simplicity will calm the most novice of cooks. Topped with Shaved Asiago and Toasted Pine Nuts, and served with a tossed Spinach Salad w/Lemon Vinaigrette and Toasted Four Cheese Bread; you have a "less than 30 minute" meal that will have family members coming back for more.

I can layer this tomato and herb masterpiece with flat pasta, choosing from a myriad of other possibilities: ricotta, provolone, fresh mozzarella, herbs, Italian sausage, squash, mushrooms, bell pepper, red onion, fresh spinach and more- for a bubbly and delicious Lasagna.

It can be used in a variety of tasty soups: Minestrone, Vegetable Beef, or Spicy Lentil just to name a few.

My sons love this marinara served on thick slices of my Rosemary Ciabatta, and toasted in a hot oven w/Provolone, Mozzarella, Fresh Herbs, and Pepperoni. Total prep time is about 15 minutes.

And enjoyed w/Seasoned Crostini, Smoked Provolone or crumbled Feta, Crispy Proscuitto, Fresh Basil and a bottle of your favorite wine makes for a quick, yet satisfying last minute meal.

As a homeschooling mom, I'm now pleased to have this amazing culinary treat simmering on the stovetop and can return to our next lesson on The Life and Journeys of Paul knowing that tonight's dinner, as well as future meals, will be a snap.

Happy Eating!
Polly~ The Food Snob

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