Thursday, July 18, 2013

Kid Snack - Marinara Sauce

To go with homemade meatballs you need to have homemade marinara sauce.  Marinara sauce is so simple!  And once you discover that, you may never buy pre-made again.

Here is my recipe.

1-2 minced garlic cloves (I grow my own)
1 Tbls olive oil (I wish I could grow olives)
4 cups tomato sauce (I can my own)
1/2 cup tomato paste (I can my own)
1 Tbls sugar (this is optional but makes the sauce more kid friendly)
1/2 - 1 tsp baking soda

In a medium sauce pan, over medium-low heat sauté the minced garlic cloves in the olive oil. 

Carefully add the sugar, tomato sauce and tomato paste (carefully so the olive oil doesn't splash up on you).  Mix well.  I use a whisk to combine the sauce and paste together.

Let simmer about five minutes. 

Taste.  If the sauce is too sour, acidic, or tangy (choose your adjective), which is often a problem with home canned tomato sauce and/or paste, add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda.  Do not freak out.  The baking soda will fizz and bubble in the sauce.  The fizzing is from the acid in the tomatoes reacting with the baking soda, making the sauce less tangy.  Mix well until the fizzing stops. 

Note: adding sugar does not reduce the sour, acidic or tanginess of the sauce.  It might mask it a bit but does nothing to change the pH. I add a small amount of sugar to my sauce to actually make it sweeter to suit my daughter's taste.

Taste again.  If still too sour, acidic, or tangy for your liking, add another 1/1 teaspoon of baking soda, mix well and taste. 

Cook for another couple of minutes.  You do not need to cook the sauce all day.  You need less than 10 minutes for a yummy marinara.  Remove from heat and use or freeze for future use.

I like to use ice cube trays to freeze the sauce.

Once frozen, the individual cubes can be put into a ziptop bag for storage.  When ready to use, put the frozen meatballs and two or three cubes of sauce into a small sauce pan over medium-low heat to warm up for a nutritious and yummy snack.

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