So, to start, we have decided to make our own tomato sauce. I usually do this anyway, but I do keep a back up bottle of pasta sauce handy just in case I do not have time to make sauce. But I've decided that I will not purchase bottled pasta sauce and make my own from now on.
I roasted some tomatoes today and have turned them into marinara sauce which will then go into the freezer for the next time I need it. I figure that if I do this every week for the next few weeks, I will build up enough of a supply of marinara and pasta sauce that I won't even notice that I don't have a back up bottle of pasta sauce in the cupboard. I have my back up in the freezer instead!
To roast tomatoes, cut into halves or quarters and lay on greased sheet (non-stick spray is best - lessens the calories). Take extra virgin olive oil and drizzle over top of tomatoes. Drizzle, not soak. Sprinkle 1 to 2 tablespoons of coarse sea salt over the pieces and then grind fresh pepper over them. Place on preheated oven of 425F. Roast for 45-50 minutes.
When making your marinara, you can add garlic, onions and mushrooms if you like; I do sometimes. Make sure you soften them in a bit of olive oil and butter. Or, you can just leave the sauce plain. Make sure when transferring the roasted tomatoes to a saucepan, you remove the skins. Don't worry, they'll come off easily. Add fresh or dried oregano and basil with a by leaf or two and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let the sauce simmer gently for the next two to three hours. Once finished, remove the bay leaves and discard. Either serve with cooked pasta or put in containers and freeze up to four months.
I can use this sauce for not only spaghetti or other pasta, but also for lasagna or stuffed manicotti. Oh the possibilities are endless! I am looking forward to making this every week.