Tomatoes are one of those foods that can be classified as a “super food” given their anti-oxidant levels and high volume of vitamins and essential minerals. Taking in ample amounts of tomato may significantly reduce your risks for various cancers, including the often fatal, lung cancer. They promote healthy vision and skin as well. Finding a way to eat tomatoes that works for you is key.
Below is a recipe from a certain Sicilian grandmother. This recipe was kept under lock and key for many years, but in her old age, she has relaxed her grip a little. We both share the idea that we want to help people get healthy. If sharing this recipe is going to get people eating healthier foods, mission accomplished. The fact of the matter is this sauce will taste better than anything you’ve ever had. For that reason alone, you will probably be buying tomatoes in bulk each week just to make this sauce fresh. A good marinara sauce can be used on almost anything. Pasta, rice dishes, vegetables, fish, meats, etc.
- 2.2 pounds fresh, ripe tomatoes. (IF you can get San Marzano tomatoes, these are what you should use)
- 2 ounces pork fatback
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 large onion, grated
- 2 large carrots, grated
- 1/8 cup good quality, extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon fresh oregano (dried if you must)
- 1 teaspoon fresh marjoram (ditto)
- 10 fresh basil leaves (dried will not do in this case)
- 1 bunch parsley, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon of sugar if tomatoes are too acidic
1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add all the tomatoes and blanch for about 3 minutes. Remove and immediately plunge in a bowl of ice water. Peel all the skins and remove the seeds and any tough pieces from inside the tomato.
2. In a separate, small pot, add the olive oil, garlic cloves, and red pepper flakes. Mash the garlic cloves before putting them into the pot. Turn the heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
3. Strain the oil mixture in a separate bowl or pot, retaining the oil. The flavors from the garlic and red pepper flakes have now permeated the olive oil. Add the pork fatback to the larger pot. Cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, or until all fat has been rendered. Add the carrot and onion. Saute for 5 minutes. Add the flavored olive oil to the pot and lower the heat to medium. Add the tomatoes and saute another minute. Mash the tomatoes using a potato masher until they are fairly broken down.
4. Cover with a lid and simmer for at least 60 minutes over medium-low heat. Stir frequently, but do not allow the pot to remain uncovered for very long. Remove from heat and place in a blender. Blend until very smooth. Return to pot. Add the herbs and spices and simmer another 10-15 minutes over medium-low heat.
5. Serve and enjoy!