Easy Marinara from a Partial Italian

Originally posted at www.yvearl.com

I went to a party recently and met a really cool couple. Inevitably, I always end up talking about food, cooking or blogging. The guy, Marco, gave me his super-secret Italian family recipe for marinara and it sounded great. This is not it.

Don’t get me wrong. I am very grateful for new recipes and new ideas on cooking. And I’m quite certain that recipe is out of this world, however, the super-secret recipe requires you to stir and simmer the marinara for like 12 hours. Who has 12 hours to cook marinara? Not I. Not even close. Maybe when the kids are all grown and kicked out of the house.

But, I do have an hour for this marinara…two days in a row. I made it for pork cacciatore one day.

Pork Cacciatore with Easy Marinara Recipe

 

Then I decided it was so yummy I needed to repeat the recipe the next day and use it for little pizzas.

 

Mini Whole Wheat Pita Pockets with Easy Marinara

 

For the pork cacciatore, I used pork tenderloin and double breaded large pieces in wheat flour, then an egg wash with lemon zest and lemon juice, back in the flour, egg, then panko breadcrumbs with salt, pepper and a teaspoon of dried oregano. I fried the pieces in coconut oil in a large cast iron skillet until golden brown. They were then drained on paper towels and sliced thinly.

 

Pork Cacciatore Breaded in Panko with Easy Marinara Recipe

 

I also cut some corners on the mashed potatoes. Yes, these are instant. But if you buy the right ones…and everything else is homemade…it is quite alright to use instant. I’ve made cacciatore with garlic mashed potatoes from scratch, and you really don’t miss on the flavor, especially if you make this yummy, easy marinara to go over it all. And you just might have a family of five {or 6 with a couple guests, a dog and a cat. Anyway…} Say it with me: Instant mashed potatoes are OK. Here, at least.

Lastly, before I give you this insanely easy recipe, I wanted to show you some of the mini pizzas we made. {I say “we” because my BFF was here to help me decide what ingredients to use, shop for those ingredients and throw it all together; which made it all the more fun!}

First up, the Pizza Margherita…ooooh…aahhhh… It’s definitely one of my favorites. As I was doing some research {like the correct spelling of margherita}, I Googled it and came across this recipe on Epicurious. I’m sorry, but that just doesn’t look appetizing AT ALL. If I may toot my own horn for one split second, here’s an image of my Pizza Margherita. {And you must say it with an Italian accent.}

 

Pizza Margherita with Easy Marinara Recipe

 

Here it is after it came out of the oven. Fresh roma tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, and I added a little something else to kick it up: caramelized red onions. Over. The. Top.

 

Pizza Margherita out of the oven with Easy Marinara Recipe

 

Here’s a shot of those caramelized onions I speak of.

 

Caramelized onions for mini pizzas

 

Next up, is a spicy turkey sausage pizza with roasted garlic {oh, yes, we went there.} and fresh mozzarella. Also, on top of this we added a little mixture of cheddar cheese.Here they are before I decided to add the cheddar blend.

 

Mini Pizzas with Recipe for Easy Marinara

 

By the way, for the crust, I used whole wheat mini pita pockets. They worked perfectly!!

Another mini pizza we made was a Hawaiian of sorts with fresh pineapple, ham, fresh mozzarella, roasted garlic and a bit of cheddar. Flavor explosion.

 

Mini Pizzas with Pineapple, Ham, Roasted Garlic and Recipe for Easy Marinara

 

Here is the Hawaiian out of the oven. Don’t they look delectable?

 

Mini Hawaiian Pizzas on Pita Bread with Easy Marinara Recipe

 

Ok, ok…here’s that marinara recipe already!

Yvearl’s Recipe: Easy Marinara from a Partial Italian

Ingredients

  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 5 cloves fresh garlic or frozen
  • 2 14.5 oz cans organic Italian stewed tomatoes with reserved juice
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chiffonade
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

    1. In a heavy-bottomed, medium saucepan add extra virgin olive oil. Heat should be set on medium.
    2. Add red pepper flakes and garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes.
    3. Then add the remaining ingredients.
    4. Kick the heat to high and bring to a boil.
    5. Lower heat to its lowest setting.
    6. Take immersion blender and pulse sauce off and on about 15-20 times, depending on how chunky you want your sauce.
    7. Simmer for 1 hour.

One last little tip, when you are using your immersion blender, if you just let it blend away, it turns into tomato-basil soup. I may or may not know this from experience. If you are going for tomato-basil soup, then by all means turn that baby on and let ‘er rip! Otherwise, take caution and pulse off and on until you reach your perfect marinara consistency!

These little pita pockets cut perfectly into 6 bite-sized triangles. That is if you have a big mouth.

Pizza Marherita with Caramelized Onions

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published August 12th, 2013
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