Marinara

a-to-z-letters-mBecause it was mostly my followers and friends who saw this recipe, I’m going to give it here for those who come visiting from the #atochallenge hop.  It’s very simple and very flavorful sauce that goes well over pasta or even with a meatloaf.  It’s my own variation for the stove top instead of the slow cooker.

But first, let us look at the history of Marinara sauce.  As the name itself suggests, it is usually served with seafood.  My mother used to make her’s as an oyster sauce to go over spaghetti.  I’m sure it would go well with shrimp, lobster, or even crab legs.  I do know for sure it is perfect with fried cheese like Brie and Mozzarella.

The definition of Marinara is: Marinara (mariner’s) sauce is a southern Italian tomato sauce usually made with tomatoes, garlic, herbs, onions and seafood. Its many variations can include the addition of capers, olives and spices.

Traditional southern Italian cuisine uses this sauce to add flavor to pasta, rice, seafood and pizza. This sauce is also widely used in Italian-American cuisine, which has diverged significantly from its Old World origins.

Italians refer to marinara sauce only in association with other recipes. For instance, spaghetti alla marinara literally translates to “spaghetti mariner’s style” (from the adjective marinara with the feminine suffix -a pertaining to salsa, Italian for sauce), but tomato sauce alone in Italy is called sugo/salsa al/di pomodoro or pomarola.

Outside of the US, this is referred to as Neapolitan sauce or Napoli sauce, and Marinara sauce refers to a sauce containing seafood.(Credit to Wikipedia)

Wikipedia also goes on to give a bit of history of the origins of this wonderful red sauce. (Can you tell I love this one?)

At least two folk theories are given as to the origin of this sauce: One says cooks aboard Neapolitan ships invented marinara sauce in the mid-16th century after the Spaniards introduced the tomato (a New World fruit) to Europe. The original recipe did not contain seafood, so it was resistant to spoilage due to the high acid content of tomatoes. This made it ideal for lengthy sea voyages hundreds of years before refrigeration methods were invented. Another theory states this was a sauce prepared by the wives of Neapolitan sailors upon their return from sea. An Australian folk theory accounts that the seafood marinara sauce was the first tomato-based pasta sauce popularized in the US, and with the explosion in popularity of Italian cuisine, the name “marinara sauce” became a misnomenclature for Neapolitan sauce or salsa Napolitana. In Australia, where it has been introduced by Italian Australians, marinara sauce always includes seafood (‘marine’), except at the American fast food chain, Subway.

Historically, however, the first Italian cookbook to include tomato sauce, Lo Scalo Allah Moderna (The Modern Steward), was written by Italian chef Antonio Latini and was published in two volumes in 1692 and 1694. Latini served as the Steward of the First Minister to the Spanish Viceroy of Naples.

Yes, this is a repeat of another post.

On to the recipe!

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Ingredients

2 lbs ground beef (preferably chuck or sirloin)

1 large onion chopped fine

5 large cloves of Garlic smashed

4 8 oz cans of tomato sauce

1 can of diced tomatoes

1 can of tomato puree

1 large can of whole tomatoes quartered

1 small can of tomato paste

salt and pepper

oregano

sage

rosemary

thyme

garlic powder

basil

4 or 5 bay leaves

Directions

Brown the ground beef and make sure to brake up any large chunks on medium high heat.  Add in the chopped onion and garlic then let cook down until the onions are translucent and the garlic has almost disappeared.  Turn down the heat to medium. Add in the cans of tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, the pureed tomatoes and the quartered tomatoes, stirring well between each addition.  Add in all the seasonings.  Go by taste and preference for the amount you use on each except for the bay leaf.  I like a lot of garlic in mine so I add in extra powdered garlic.  Stir well to incorporate all the seasonings then let it come to a slow boil.  Place the bay leaves equal distance apart with one in the center.  Turn down the heat to low and let simmer with the lid on for about an hour.  Stir occasionally.

Remove the lid after one hour and let the sauce continue to simmer for another hour to an hour and a half to let it reduce and thicken stirring only occasionally.  When a wooden spoon can stand up in the center on its own, it’s ready.  Serve over your favorite pasta or entree.

Check out the others in the blog hop at http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/p/2012-to-z-challenge-sign-up-list.html

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