Wednesday, October 15, 2008

What’s Cooking Wednesday – A kick butt marinara sauce from Giada De Laurentiis

There are more What's Cooking recipes at Shan's place.

I agree with Ms. De Laurentiis every cook needs one. I have made different ones over the last couple of years and this is the one I like the best. It’s easy and I usually make a big batch and freeze a few portions.

I used to buy jar sauces (I know, I know) until a few years ago. Once I start making my own, I couldn’t go back. Now the jarred stuff seems too sweet, esp. Prego.

This sauce is a good base for other recipes. I got it from Giada’s book EVERYDAY PASTA. This is a fantastic cookbook. I use it a lot. Not only are the recipes excellent, I like the layout.

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 small onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes (I couldn’t find crushed tomatoes here I bought whole one and squished them with my hands.)
2 dried bay leaves

In a large pot, heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Add the onions and garlic and saute until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the celery, carrots, and 1/2 teaspoon of each salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bay leaves, and simmer uncovered over low heat until the sauce thickens, about 1 hour. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Season the sauce with more salt and pepper, to taste. (The sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, then cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium heat before using.)

Buon Appetito!


Anonymous said...

Classic, I remember as a kind my grandmother used to scoop out the onion because my Dad (a grown man!) didn't like chunks of onion in his sauce!! Otherwise, her recipe was pretty much like this one!

Anonymous said...

I usually like Giada's recipes. This one looks good too. I like that she uses organic canned tomatoes on her show.

I try to buy the canned san marzano tomatoes. Mmm, good!

Anonymous said...

Mmmmm! I love sugo! I would only eat that on pasta but the hubby loves veggie-based sauces. I don't know Giada. Is she like an Italian Nigella?

'A Tuscan view.....from Umbria' said...

I've never heard of Giada either, she looks very glam, is she an American/Italian version of Nigella? Maybe you've never heard of Nigella Lawson, kind of sexy, kind of glam, kind of greedy, I think she tried to make a go of the US but I'm not sure they liked her.

Anyway the sauce looks great, the same as I make minus the precision measurements. Now I have to go catch up on the rest of your blog, I think I saw something about the the Vatican City a few posts back.

Jen said...

Thanks so much for this, especially your comment about bottled sauces being too sweet. My marinara sauces have universally sucked and this looks very doable, and if it has a proven track record - buono! (Hey, was that correct Italian? I have no idea what I'm doing).

I love many of Giada's recipes, so I'm game to try this. I'm supposedly missing WCW today to join blog action day, but my mom had a crisis yesterday (she's okay now) but my brain isn't functioning and I'm not sure I'm going to be writing on anything today.

Diana Strinati Baur said...

Mine (from my nonna) is similar, but no onions and with anchovies. My grandmother was from the school of thought that the name of the sauce must be honored by the inclusion of three crushed anchovies. Not everyone agrees -- it was a sauce made for sailors, originally. And, in reality, you can throw anything you want into a beautiful sauce like this!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

joanne - I don't have a food processor/mini-prep here but in the past I've used it to cut up the onions, carrots and celery v. finely. I can see why someone wouldn't like big chunks of onion in their sauce. ha

my melange - Every recipe I have made of hers has been a hit.

milanese - She was born in Rome (her grandmother is the actress Silvana Magano and her grandfather is producer Dino De Laurentiis) but then her family moved to L.A. when she was a kid. She went to Cordon Bleu. Is Nigella a chef? I've seen her show a couple of times.

Amanda - I think Giada has more restaurant/chef experience than Nigella. I don't know how well Nigella's show did in America. I didn't watch that much because I wasn't really a fan of what she cooked. I like the presentation but after seeing her show several times I never said "I must make that."
I posted about the Vatican museum on Monday.

jen - yes that was correct Italian, brava. Sorry to hear about your mom.

diana - I have to write a post about anchovies one day. I love them now but when I was younger I used to say I hated them when in fact I don't think I ever had them. ha.

glamah16 said...

Excellent. In response to the "real thing" , be prepared to gain some when they do come along. Its all that nesting, cooking, and contentment.Hahahaha.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

glamah16 - ha. I wouldn't mind a couple pounds under those circumstances.

Faith at Acts of Faith Blog said...

Giada is ok, I just find it hard to believe she actually eats anything she's sooo skinny. I like Nigella because she's got hips and eats on camera and looks really sexy doing it! It's a nice change. I'd like to see a prominent Black female chef/celeb cooking show presenter.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

faith - ha. Her mom is very petite, it must be the genes. Right before I left there was a new show, I think called Cooking with the Neelys. What happened to B. Smith?

I agree Nigella likes to eat as does Paula Deen but I can only watch a cooking show if I like their recipes. It why I couldn't watch Rachel Ray but could watch Ina Gartner who is kind of boring.

Anonymous said...

Going to try this recipe out for sure today! Will let you know how it goes. I love that it is so simple and seems like it will make enough to last a while. I think food is just better from scratch, and I am still on Jar sauces. Eeek! Thanks for the inspiration.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

nyw - you're welcome. good luck.