This blend of traditional and new school items makes for killer marinara with rich and velvilty flavor.
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup finely chopped sweet onion
5 garlic cloves, minced
7 lbs. fresh tomatoes, cored and lightly scored on bottom *See note below
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon butter
2 sprigs fresh basil
1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or large oven-safe saucepan over medium-low. Add onion and garlic; cook 20 minutes or until translucent and tender, stirring occasionally.
2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Working in batches, plunge tomatoes into water; blanch 15 seconds or until peels loosen at scored edges. Remove from water; drain. Remove peels; discard. Or use canned tomatoes. Chop tomatoes.
3. Add tomatoes to onion mixture. Stir in sugar, salt, oregano and soy sauce. Bring mixture to a simmer. Place in oven; bake, uncovered, at 300 degrees for six hours. Remove from oven. Stir in butter, lapping sauce around sides of pot to deglaze browned splatters. Stir in basil; let sauce stand 20 minutes.
* Substitute three (28-ounce) cans undrained whole tomatoes, crushed, for fresh; use rest of ingredients as directed. Bake uncovered 50 minutes at 425 degrees.
Susan Woody has been a food writer for more than 25 years and is a member of the Association of Food Journalists.