Wednesday, August 29, 2007

It's How to Use Garden Tomatoes Week! Make Sausage and Basil Marinara Sauce

Sausage and Basil Marinara Sauce(Updated recipe, originally posted August 2006)  I first made this type of tomato sauce about ten years ago, when I realized that fresh basil was so easy to grow, and I developed this recipe through trial and error over the years. Since we're celebrating How to Use Garden Tomatoes Week around here, this marinara sauce absolutely had to be included. Making pasta sauce and freezing it is one of the main things I love to do with my fresh tomatoes every year.

This recipe calls for peeling the tomatoes, a job that isn't difficult, but can be a bit of a bore. This year I invested in a food mill, which eliminated the peeling step. Tomorrow I'll share my newest sauce recipe, made with a food mill, my newest kitchen toy, and no canned tomatoes. But if you don't have a food mill, or don't have quite the abundance of fresh tomatoes that I do, this recipe is a fantastic way to make marinara sauce. No matter what you do, don't leave out the ground fennel, an ingredient I think makes all the difference in this sauce.

The original recipe for Sausage and Basil Marinara Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes has step-by-step photos if you'd like to see them.)

Sausage and Basil Marinara Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes
(Makes 8-10 cups of sauce, recipe created by Kalyn, originally posted August 2006)

15-20 very ripe tomatoes, peeled and diced in pieces 1/2 to 1 inch
1-2 cans tomato sauce (15. oz. can)
1-2 cans diced tomatoes (15 oz. can)
3 T dried basil
3 T dried oregano
2 T ground fennel seed
3 T minced garlic or garlic puree
5 dried bay leaves
1 pkg. (5 links) turkey Italian Sausage (mild or hot, but I prefer hot)
1/4 cup olive oil plus 1-2 T for browning sausage
1/4 cup (or less) chopped fresh oregano
1/2 cup (or less) chopped fresh basil

To peel tomatoes: Bring a deep pot of water to a slight boil. Wash tomatoes, then cut a V into the top of each tomato, cutting away stem area. Put tomatoes with stem area removed into boiling water 1-2 minutes. Remove tomatoes to cutting board, and peel off skin, which should come off easily. If it doesn't slip right off, leave tomatoes in boiling water a tiny bit longer. I do 4-5 tomatoes at a time, and usually let them cool for a minute or two before peeling them.

Chop tomatoes and put in large heavy pot. Add tomato sauce, canned diced tomatoes, dried basil, dried oregano, ground fennel, minced garlic, and bay leaves and let sauce simmer 1-2 hours.

Heat 1-2 T olive oil in a large frying pan. Squeeze sausage out of casing and brown, breaking up with heavy turner or potato masher, until sausage is well browned. Add browned sausage to sauce mixture and simmer 2-3 hours more.

Add olive oil, fresh oregano and fresh basil to sauce and simmer 10-15 minutes. Let sauce cool before refrigerating or freezing. This sauce will keep for close to a year in the freezer if it is stored in a plastic container with a tight fitting lid.

Printer Friendly Recipe

(See all the ideas for How to Use Garden Tomatoes Week at the post for Day One.)

More Delicious Recipes with Marinara or Tomato Sauce:
(Recipes from other blogs may or may not be South Beach Diet friendly, check ingredients. Remember to use Dreamfield's Pasta or another type of low-carb pasta for the South Beach Diet.)
Baked Penne with Sausage
Italian Sausage with Tomato Sauce
Homemade Marinara Sauce from Saffron Trail
Heirloom Tomato Sauce from Hedonia
Tomato Sauce for All Seasons from Seriously Good
Penne Baked with Tomato Sauce from Almost Turkish Recipes
Heart-Healthy Pasta with Quick Tomato Sauce from Christine Cooks
Elicottero with Creamy and Hot Tomato Sauce from Once Upon a Tart
Chicken Marinara from Simply Recipes
My Mother's Lasagna from Cream Puffs in Venicecounter customizable free hit
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  1. This looks like a fabulous recipe. Could you help by giving me the equivalent of 15-20 tomatoes in pounds or cups. When I have all sorts of sizes and pieces from trimming, it's hard to even ballpark an estimate. Thanks!

  2. This one is a real find! Who can't use marinara sauce year round? Such a versatile recipe.

  3. Anonymous, I'd say 20 tomatoes would be around ten cups, although the measurements don't have to be that exact. You can adjust the canned tomatoes and tomato sauce too, based on how many fresh tomatoes you have.

    Thanks Kelly. I've been loving this for years.

  4. My husband is absolutely nuts for this sauce, Kalyn!

  5. I really like using italian sausage in tomato sauces. The fennel should be work nicely with the sausage. Fresh vine ripened tomatoes always make the sauce better.

  6. I love tomato sauce made whit fresh tomatoes,is another flavor and smells so good

  7. Patricia, thanks. So glad to hear it. He must have good taste, after all, he married you!

    Kevin, me too. I just love Italian Sausage; it's all about the fennel.

    Sylvia, me too.

  8. I love that you included fennel, when so many others forget it. Fennel is essential. While others are adding sugar to make their already great tasting ripe tomatoes sweeter, you know the secret that fennel does the job. That licorice-y goodness highlights tomatoes' natural sweetness and makes the whole jumble of flavors taste better.

    Great recipe. Thank you for sharing it.

  9. Italian sausage and basil are my two favorite things in tomato sauce!

  10. I want to try this, I just need to get some tomatoes and be home for 9 hours at one time:)

  11. It's a nice idea to include fennel seeds in your tomato sauce. This is the first time I hear of it. In France, tomatoes aren't good this year, because of the bad weather we had this summer. Hope next year will be better...

  12. This sounds wonderful and I have read on other cooking blogs that roasting will even bring flavor out in hothouse tomatoes!

  13. I will try the fennel.

    I love my mill too.

  14. I can't think of anything better than freshly made sauce - tomatoes and all. Yum! Absolutely mouth watering!


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