Carrots in my Marinara?!?!

Despite going out of my way to make all of my own pasta sauces from scratch, I have never done so for a marinara.  I suppose it could be because I don’t usually have a craving for one and there always seems to be a jar on hand to conveniently use.  Well, I had a recent discussion with a co-worker outside the courtroom the other day and he was singing praises about putting carrots in his marinara.  Carrots in my marinara?!?!  I thought I’d give it a try, and it was so simple, and by the time the pasta was ready, the sauce was done.  I figured I’d have to share this recipe with everyone!

2 tablespoons olive oil 

1 medium onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, diced

1 stalk celery

1 medium carrot

4oz baby bella mushrooms, chopped

1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes

1 tablespoon Italian herb seasoning

1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper to taste

I like a chunky sauce so I decided to keep this one chunky.  Feel free to use an immersion (stick) blender to smooth out your sauce at the end.   Heat the oil over medium high heat in a heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven.  Add the diced onions and cook until they soften.  Add the garlic and cook for one minute more.  Because I don’t like chunks of carrots or celery, I placed mine in a food processor and finely chopped.  If you are going to use a blender at the end anyway, you can skip this step.  Add the finely chopped/grated celery and carrot and sauté for a few more minutes.

Add the chopped mushrooms, tomatoes, herbs, and red pepper flakes. 

When the sauce comes to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a simmer, and stir occasionally.  Start your pasta water now and when the pasta is done, the sauce will also be ready.  You can continue to simmer the sauce for up to an hour.  If you want a smoother sauce, use an immersion blender until the desired consistency is reached.

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~ by thevintedlawstudent on February 14, 2012.

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