Thursday, October 29, 2009

spaghetti and meatballs with basic marinara

since i've been pregnant, i've wanted comfort foods. it started with mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese. then hamburgers, sometimes 3 times a week. spaghetti and meatballs were next. i just can't get enough of those simple, basic flavors. now that i'm home, i'm loving meal planning and being in the kitchen everyday - plus i decide what we eat, so it's been heavy on (healthy) comfort foods. husband has not objected ;)

my goal is to make as much as i can from scratch, so i decided that making marinara for my spaghetti was a must. plus, i've never made it myself. i rely on ragu (i seriously love ragu). i wanted something simple and satisfying and settled on the first recipe i found: marinara sauce from everyday italian by giada de laurentis. i halved the recipe, but plan to make it again and freeze the extra.

marinara sauce (adapted slightly from everyday italian)
1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
2 small onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes
2 32-oz cans crushed tomatoes
2 bay leaves

1. in a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat
2. add onions and garlic and saute about 10 minutes, until translucent

3. add celery, carrots, salt and pepper and saute 10 minutes
4. add red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute
5. add tomatoes and bay leaves and simmer over low heat until thickened, about 1 hour
6. remove bay leaves and season with salt and pepper to taste

delicious! the flavors of the veggies and tomatoes are very apparent and the subtle spice of the red pepper flakes makes it just interesting enough without being too hot. i of course paired it with homemade meatballs (no recipe - i had no breadcrumbs and resorted to ritz crackers...) and thick spaghetti, topped with fresh basil and shredded parmesan.


Kelsey said...

This is my favorite marinara recipe, as well. It's so easy and delicious!