Friday, February 22, 2013

Simple Marinara

My sister recently moved to the Netherlands and she expressed frustration of cooking over in Europe.  We are very lucky to have a wide variety of ingredients available to us in the United States so I wanted to make something very simple she would be able to duplicate easily.

There are many people that do the typical "spaghetti sauce in a jar" on week nights because it is easy and fast.  I admit it, I used to be one of those people.  I grew up in household that ate Ragu and Prego.  Unfortunately, these jarred sauces have a lot of preservatives and sugar in them and are not very healthy.  This recipe is so simple you can make the sauce while your noodles are cooking in the boiling water.  I promise it won't take any longer than your normal routine with the jarred sauce and the taste will knock your socks off!

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 2 minutes, seriously!
Cook Time: 12 minutes

1/2 Box angel hair pasta, or whatever you have in pantry
2 Tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
2 Cloves garlic, sliced
1 14oz. Can of petite diced tomatoes, I used Hunts
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Red pepper flakes, if you want a little kick
1 Tablespoon Butter
4 Leaves fresh basil

Put your pot of water on stove and bring to boil.  Meanwhile, heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat and add olive oil.  Cut thin slices of garlic.  Don't cut long ways but short ways so you have little slices about the size of a dime.  Add to the olive oil and let garlic infuse the oil for about 2 minutes.  Once garlic gets a "little" brown that should be good.

Add the whole can of tomatoes, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes into the garlic olive oil.  Toss together and reduce heat to medium.

The water should be boiling at this point (add a little salt to boiling water) and add angel hair pasta.  It should be about 4 minutes until al dente.  Drain pasta and set aside.

Chop your fresh basil and set aside.  **A little trick. Stack your leaves of basil on top of each other and roll up like a cigarette.  Then take your knife and slice the roll and you have perfect chopped basil!**

Then stir the butter into the tomato sauce and let the flavors come together for 2 minutes.  Add in the pasta to the tomato sauce and lightly toss.

Plate and top with fresh basil and parmesan (if you prefer) and voila!  Cheap, easy and the flavor will wow everyone around the table!

**Second Uses** (if you have leftover sauce, you can use for the following)
1.  Pizza Sauce - get a dough ball at Trader Joe's and use this sauce and add favorite toppings!
2.  Bruschetta - Slice french baguette and add sauce on top with parmesan and put under broiler until cheese is bubbly.  Add fresh basil on top and it's a quick appetizer!

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