The Weekend Dish – Marinara Sauce

While pondering the tomato table this week, I decided to look at things from a different angle. . . tomatoes, a view from under the table

This prompted me to try something. Catherine planted the seed when she asked if I had ever made marinara from our tomatoes. I had looked for recipes for fresh tomato sauces before and I must admit the thought of the work involved peeling and seeding the tomatoes didn’t seem worth it to me. But a couple of days ago, I wanted to make something which used a LOT of tomatoes. We already have a large bowl of salsa fresca and I wanted to use a LOT MORE tomatoes. So, I dove in, with no recipe. The result was a fresh, deliciously sumptuous sauce.

marinara sauceThe list of ingredients is short but the flavor- long.
Marinara Sauce

About 10 lbs of tomatoes, peeled and seeded
1 lg. onion chopped
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbs. sugar
1/4 cup olive oil

Peel tomatoes by submersing in boiling water for about 3 minutes then remove and immediately plunge into a bowl of ice water. This makes the skins easy to remove, they practically slide right off. Puree the peeled tomatoes in a blender about 30 seconds or until smooth ( I like mine a little chunkier so I didn’t blend too long.)  Next, put through a strainer to remove seeds. Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and saute until translucent then add the garlic and stir together and cook about 2 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, salt, sugar and basil. Let it simmer for at least an hour or more until it turns a darker, richer red and reaches the consistency you like. You can serve immediately or refrigerate and save it for the next night and let the flavors marry. Serve with your favorite pasta.

spaghetti with marinara May I suggest a theme night for a dinner and a movie. While you are enjoying your scrumptious fresh marinara sauce, check out or re-acquaint yourself with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday. It is the story of a bored and sheltered princess who escapes her guardians and heads into Rome for adventure where she meets an American newsman. You will be transported to Rome for an evening – the film was actually filmed there.

Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona, Rome

Enjoy and Ciao!

~ Sue

The Streets of Europe

A year ago, I was wandering Europe captivated by the streets. Yes, the streets themselves caught my eye. Their cobblestones and narrow corridors leading to hidden places or large squares and cathedrals. I imagined all the activity that has taken place on these streets in the hundreds of years they have been in existence.


From Paris to London


They all have their own character. Partly due to the architecture and automobiles but also because each city and country has its own unique essence. Which is evident in the streets.


In Rome, there are countless motorcycles and scooters. The streets of Zurich are lined with buildings adorned with shutters of angled patterned wood.


Chester, England near the border with Wales is a bustling medieval town.



The old city of Nice’s narrow streets are lined with shops and cafes.


Every city had the green cross sign advertising the location of the pharmacies in town dotted throughout.


At night they are just as intriguing. Especially when the streets are damp from a recent rain; adding a beautiful reflective quality.

I am sure it was spending so much time walking on these streets exploring the different neighborhoods which piqued my interest. It seemed around every corner was another street compelling me to capture its essence for that moment!