Why take shortcuts? Well aside from the obvious hot busy mess we call life, sometimes the transition from tomato to sauce isn't as simple as one would imagine.
Sometimes these little buggers actually prefer to stay green. [the nerve!]
or sometimes you make a ridiculous amount salsa and run out of tomatoes entirely
And don't even get me started on the months that tomatoes aren't in season...
Whatever the reason, you can always raid your pantry for some trusty canned tomatoes and save spaghetti night from going extinct. Pre-made sauces can be expensive, sketchy, or laced with sugar, so unless you are one of the lucky people who have cash money to burn and infinite Whole Foods/Trader Joes access [jealous!], you might want to whip up a super simple batch of your own sauce. My reason? A certain marine decided it would be a great idea to impluse buy an obscene amount of canned tomatoes right before our impending move, and a certain blogger totally ate all the garden tomatoes making salsa and vegan BLTs. On repeat =)
Crockpot Fire Roasted Marinara Sauce
What's in it?
28oz can of diced or crushed tomatoes
14.5 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes
approx 4 oz of tomato paste (controls the thickness)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1-2 tsp dried parsley
3 bay leaves
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
To get a rockin consistency for the sauce, quickly add both cans to your blender or food processor and blend for just a few seconds, until tomatoes look more crushed than diced. Pour tomatoes into your crockpot, season, and walk away! Set crockpot to low if you'll be leaving the house and high if you'll be around the house. No crock pot? Simply add to a sauce pot and cook at low to medium-low on the stove-top. Super easy! =)
So... How was it?
P and I may or may not have eaten this with a spoon at some point. =) The cayenne definitely gave this marinara a kick and, having never tried a spicy spaghetti sauce before, I can honestly say i'm obsessed with it! If you're sensitive to cayenne, feel free to omit it entirely, but if you don't mind a little heat, by all means add it in! It absolutely rocked! I kept 1/2 of the sauce in the fridge to put on, well, everything! and froze the remainder for later use. And by later, I mean 2 days from now. I'm totally making either zucchini lasagna or stuffed shells with it this week. Deeelish!
For all you canned goods haters, this sauce would continue to be rock-your-face-off good with the addition of fresh tomatoes and herbs. And you can bet your butt i'll be making a garden fresh version as soon as I have enough tomatoes... Though sometimes it's nice to whip up a super inexpensive sauce with nothing more than a few pantry staples and some spice rack favorites, ya know? I'll for sure be making this sauce year round, especially in the dead of winter!
What's your all time favorite sauce? Red? Pesto? Alfredo?