My Nani was the best…she really was. She taught me a lot about cooking…and of course it was all in large portions…she was Italian after all. It took the longest time to figure out how to cook for 2-4 people rather than 8-10 lol. I guess cooking family style is good for leftovers, right?! My grandma made the BEST sauce…everyone in our family loved it and it was at EVERY family function. It was funny because she definitely kept it her secret for the longest time. Every time someone would ask her how to make it, she would tell you, but she would leave out an ingredient or two. Then, all of us cousins got to talking, and we kind of figured out what was missing by combining our recipe notes lol. As she got older, she did share it with us thought, which I appreciate because it is amazing! She was a great woman and an amazing cook, and I am so glad I got to learn a thing or two from her before she passed away.
I guess you could say we were a little spoiled as kids…I dont think I even tried jar sauce until my teenage years. Go figure, my kids favorite meal is spaghetti and meatballs…just like all the kids in our family. So now, when I make sauce, I always double or triple the recipe so I can store some in the freezer. It freezes great, so you wont have to go to the trouble of making it every single time you want marinara. When we do “pasta” night I will usually make roasted butternut squash noodles, or the above zucchini noodles in the photo. Here and there the kids will just eat traditional spaghetti, but if I can get away with just the veggies I will! Have you made spiralized veggies before? Do you own a spiralizer? I still use mine all the time, I love it. I pasted some links below for you guys, just in case you want to see what they are about and how it works! I really want to get the new 4 blade spiralizer! They are well worth it, especially when going low carb or paleo, so you have more “pasta” options. I have given 4 of these things away on my Facebook, and most of my friends have one now too. I swear I should work for them for as many people as I have gotten hooked on these things haha.
So on to the recipe…I kind of changed her recipe since her original was a “secret” and all. I mean, for the most part its the same, but I used fresh tomatoes instead of canned. You can also do this in the crock pot if you want, and use your blender at the end to make it smooth. I will say, when you cook it how I have it below, it does taste better than in the crock pot.
Just a tip: this is a perfect house cleaning day project! I got everything together, and once the sauce was simmering, I went and cleaned the entire house and did all my laundry, just checking the sauce here and there, stirring it to make sure it didnt stick to the bottom. Then once dinner came, all I had to do was spiralize some zucchin…super easy.
Give it a shot, let me know what you think! As always, be sure to tag me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with any recipes you make! I love to see your creations!
16 Organic Roma Tomatoes
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 cup Tomato Paste
1-1/2 cups Chicken Broth
1 small Onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup Italian Parsley
6 Garlic Cloves, minced
1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
salt and pepper to taste
2 Bay Leaves
1 Tbsp Oregano
1 Tbsp Basil
1 Carrot, Peeled
1 Tbsp Butter
In a large pot, steam all tomatoes for about 25 minutes until the skin cracks and can easily be peeled off.
Remove the tomatoes from the pot, and place in a large bowl.
Let the tomatoes cool a bit so you can peel them…they will be too hot to peel right away.
Place all the peeled tomatoes in a large stock pot.
Use a potato masher to mash up all your tomatoes. If you do not have a potato masher, you can use your (clean) hands…my daughter enjoyed doing this…or you can pulse your emulsion blender a few times in the pot. If you use your hands, just be sure to take the end pieces of the tomatoes out and throw them away…if you use the masher or the blender they will be broken up so you don’t really have to worry about it.
Heat the pot of tomatoes on medium heat and add the baking soda. Frothy bubbles will start to form at the top, just remove the bubbles with a spoon and discard. This process helps remove acid in your sauce. Then add in the chicken broth.
Heat a medium sized pan, and drizzle a little olive oil.
Add the onion to the pan and saute for about 3 minutes, then add the garlic and parsley. Cook until the onions start to turn translucent, about another 4 minutes. Be sure to not burn the garlic.
Stir the onion mixture into the pot with tomatoes.
In the same pan, drizzle a little more olive oil, and add your tomato paste. Stir the paste around and cook for about 5 minutes until the paste gets an orange hue.
Add the paste to the sauce pot, along with the peeled carrot (this helps with acid also) bay leaves, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, oregano and basil.
Reduce the heat to a simmer, and place the lid tilted on top of your pot…don’t cover the sauce completely. You want some of the steam to be able to get out.
Simmer your sauce for about 6-8 hours, stirring occasionally.
Once the sauce is done, throw the carrot away, and stir in the butter and serve or freeze.
Recipe makes 2.5 quarts of sauce
There are 20 servings, each serving is 1/2 cup.
Each serving has 4.87 carbs