September has been quite a month of getting back into school routines and figuring out schedules for the whole family. Summer is wonderful and fun and full of craziness, but there is something refreshing and liberating about getting into the school routines again and keeping a bit stricter schedule.
This year I have two going to school, kindergarten and 2nd grade! But I still have FOUR kids at home!!!! Bwhahahahahaha…. The craziness doesn’t stop! Thank goodness that they all take pretty good and consistent afternoon naps!
I am really trying to pump out good, healthy, and cheap meals for the family every day. It takes some planning, but it is so worth it! Cooking for the freezer has made things a little easier on those days that things just get a bit crazy or don’t go as planned. This past week I added Marinara Sauce from Scratch to my freezer stock. It is so simple to make and you will just be amazed how amazing the sauce is.
This sauce starts from fresh Roma Tomatoes. Remember the Freezer Tomato Sauce I just made? Well, this recipe starts with that sauce as my base. If you don’t have time to make the Freezer Tomato Sauce ahead of time, don’t worry. Just puree your tomatoes and garlic and simmer for an extra hour.
The key to this sauce is letting it simmer all day. Really… ALL DAY LONG! It is pure torture. The wonderful smells form your kitchen will have you wondering into the kitchen to taste little spoonfuls of this sauce over and over again. (Of course, you are just checking it for taste and salt levels…. A true cook)
The wonderful thing about this marinara sauce is you control the salt and sugar. You control the spices. Have you read the ingredients on store bought jars of sauce? YIKES! Now, don’t get me wrong. I buy jar sauces too for those “emergency” meals, when it’s 4:30 and I am still trying to finish my first cup of coffee. But this homemade marinara will just blow all those sauces out of the water! **NOTE that this recipe makes enough for several meals. Freeze what you don’t use and skip those jarred sauces when you are in a pinch.
We are obsessed with bread in our house too. A little cheesy bread on the side to mop up all the extra sauce on your plate is pure heaven!
- 12 Cups pureed Roma Tomatoes with 3-4 cloves garlic (Freezer Tomato Sauce)
- 1 large Onion finely chopped
- 4 Tbsp chopped Garlic
- 1 12 oz. can Tomato Paste
- 1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
- 2 Tsp Oregano
- 2 Tsp Basil
- 1/4 Tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- 1/2-1 Tsp Salt
- 1/2-1 Tsp Pepper
- 1 Tbsp Sugar
- In a large pot, soften onions in a tablespoon of Olive Oil. Add in garlic and cook for a few minutes on medium heat. Stir in tomato paste until well combined. Add Italian seasoning, oregano, basil and crushed red pepper flakes. Slowly stir in tomato puree. Bring to a boil and turn to medium-low heat. Allow to simmer 5-6 hours, stirring every 30 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and sugar to taste.
I just LOVE this sauce! Our family is quite large, so we used up quite a bit the first night I made it. But I have enough left for another meal. Can’t wait! I am thinking possibly Stuffed Manicotti??? This is the perfect freezer sauce! I am ready to make another batch just for the freezer to be sure to take advantage of the amazing produce in season right now!