08Marinara2HoursSqbfLOSo, there was this lasagna throwdown at Barb and Justin’s house, and I decided to go old-school classic (well, for me) and make a batch o’ my Mom’s Lasagna; loaded with Swiss and cottage cheese and – to make up for a sad lack of available linguiça – I thought that this was a perfect time to try and perfect a home made marinara sauce.

My lasagna didn’t win (Rich’s roll-ups took that honor), but I was pretty darned pleased with my marinara anyway – tho’ next time I’ll add more a bit more spice.

•6 medium carrots
•10 medium celery stalks – with tops
•3 onions
•1 red pepper
•8 or 9 cloves roasted garlic
01MarinaraSpicesClosebfLO•1 tbsp sugar
•2 tsp seasoned salt
•2 tsp dried basil
•1-1/2 tsp dried oregano
•1 tsp dried thyme
•1 tsp dried parsley
•1 tsp black pepper
•1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
•2 cups chicken stock
•3 (28 oz) cans diced tomatoes
•3 bay leaves
•Olive oil

Slice, dice, and/or mince all your veggies (I run my celery, carrot, and red pepper through the food processor) into small bits and gather your seasonings together.

05MarinaraSimmerBestSqbfLOHeat 2 or 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat and add the carrots, celery, onion, and red pepper.

Sauté for 10 minutes, until the veggies are tender, then add the minced roasted garlic, the seasonings (except for the bay leaves), and the balsamic vinegar and cook for another 3 minutes.

09MarinaraAddMeatSqbfLOAdd the chicken stock, the tomatoes, and the bay leaves, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 2 to 2-1/2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has reduced a bit and is thickened.

Fish out the bay leaves, and you’re good to go!

Ermmm, I went and added rather a lot of cooked ground beef, sweet Italian sausage, and hot Italian sausage, let that simmer a bit to blend the flavors, then went ahead and made my lasagna.

Nice marinara – but next time? A bit of crushed red pepper, some nice red wine, and mebbe a cheese rind. Still, it’s a start!

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