Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Recipe: Sun-dried Tomato Marinara Sauce

I'm going to make a statement that may upset a lot of people (especially Europeans). As I live my life generally not caring about upsetting a lot of people, I don't care. This is just an advisory note that you should look past your initial feelings of instant resentment and open-mindedly consider what I'm going to write. Beyond that, I'm also saying that if you cannot do that, I just don't care if you're upset. It's how I roll.


Here goes...

Without the contributions of the Native Americans, international cuisine as the world now knows it would not exist!

There would be no Italian, Spanish or Portuguese food as we know it. French, Indian and Chinese cuisines would also be greatly diminished. Strangely enough though, British food would remain completely unchanged and uninteresting.

Why do I proclaim this? Because without the contributions of the Americas there would be no dishes that contain potatoes, tomatoes, chili peppers, peanuts, chocolate, vanilla, sweet potatoes or corn. All of these ingredients in modern cuisine were introduced to the world by Native Americans to the early European settlers.

Think of any of the major cuisines available today without these important ingredients and you'll have to agree. Pasta without tomato sauce? Szechuan, Portuguese or curries without chili peppers? Satay without peanuts? French desserts sans chocolate and vanilla? The Irish without potatoes?

What about the sweet potato? One of the top 15 crops worldwide! The Europeans got their first taste of it in the Caribbean and then proceeded to distribute it worldwide! It helped thwart a Japanese famine in the 1730's and was so integrated by New Zealand's Maori into their mythology as to have eleborate rituals and ceremonies governing its growing and storage methods!

So next time you consider food, consider the contributions of the Americas and the Native Americans! Don't even make me bring up pineapples, cashews, strawberries or medicinal plants!

How does it all relate to the attached recipe? TOMATOES YO!

Sun-Dried Tomato Marinara Sauce

2 28oz cans of ground tomatoes
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (diced)
1/4-1/2 cup of olive oil
2-3 Tbs of fat back or equivalent (optional)
3-5 Tbs red onion (chopped)
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
2 Tbs dried basil
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1 healthy pinch of dried oregano
Salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

In a deep saucepan add olive oil and place on medium heat until the oil begins to shimmer. Add fat back (if using) and cook until it is rendered. Remove the solids.

Add onions and stir often, cook until translucent.

Add garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes.

Carefully add the ground tomatoes and the sun-dried tomatoes. Blend in well, simmer for five minutes then add the basil, oregano, salt and pepper, stir in well..

Bring mixture to a boil then lower to a low simmer and cook for 45 minutes stirring occasionally.

If sauce is too thin, continue cooking uncovered until desired consistency is achieved. If sauce is too thick, slowly add pasta water to desired consistency.

Serve over pasta topped with Parmigiano-reggiano cheese, or use as an excellent base for meatballs.

Sun-Dried Tomato Marinara Sauce from Chop Onions, Boil Water by Henry Krauzyk


  1. how many/much sundried? my thought a lot of fresh parsely will make this even better

  2. Sorry about that anonymous! I use 1/2 cup and up depending upon the sundried tomatoes and from whom they are coming from.

    Fresh parsley never hurts!

    1. I just wanted to let you know that I had a "Mamma Mia" Mother's Day Italian Pasta Bar dinner this year & found your recipe for this "upscale" version of marinara. I actually wound up making Marco Canora's Veal Ricotta Meatballs and swapped out his sauce for yours. It was fabulous & is certainly a keeper. Thanks for this recipe!

    2. Thank you Rachel! It's the sauce we use in my house as our standard marinara-ish stuff: spaghetti, meatballs, chicken parmesan, etc.