Scoty’s Marinara Sauce

“If tomorrow was my last day on earth, I’d request a fresh piece of focaccia dunked in a vat of Scoty’s marinara for my last meal. A well-made marinara should be thick enough to cling to pasta and vegetables yet light and fresh enough to balance whatever it’s paired with. Cooked in under an hour, Scoty’s sauce is thick but not heavy. Grated carrot is the secret weapon, lending both its natural sweetness and texture.” ~Chef Tal Ronnen

Ingredients

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 (28 ounce) cans whole tomatoes
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt (optional) and freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of baking soda
  • PREP TIME 15
  • COOK TIME 45
  • Serves 6 cups

Directions

  1. Working in batches, put the tomatoes, along with their juice, in a food processor or blender and puree just until semi-smooth; you want a little bit of chunky texture.
  2. Put a medium pot over medium heat. When the pot is hot, add the onion, garlic, and carrot, season with salt, black pepper, and the red pepper flakes, and sauté until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the pureed tomatoes, stirring to combine, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the sauce thickens, about 45 minutes. Season the sauce with more salt and black pepper, to taste. Remove from the heat, stir in the baking soda, making sure it dissolves, and add the basil.
  4. Once cooled, the sauce can be refrigerated covered for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.

Excerpted from Crossroads by Tal Ronnen with Scot Jones (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2015.