An Italian friend of mine once told me the secrets to a great marinara sauce are good ingredients and patience. Good ingredients? Yep, I’ve got that one down. It’s the patience part that always has me stumped.
I suspect the only time you will see me standing over a stock pot of sauce for hours is if I were in my Tuscan villa overlooking the hills of Italy. But since that idea is nothing more than a distant dream right now, I’ll turn to my crock pot for a little support.
True to the first secret, the ingredients are about as fresh as I could get. Fresh basil is one of my favorite herbs so I was more than happy to throw in a few extra leaves for good measure. The cider vinegar was a last minute addition and perhaps not traditional. But I found it really brought out the freshness of the sauce and brightened the flavors.
- 2 (28 oz) cans crushed tomatoes, with puree
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- ½ cup onion, small chopped
- 3 Tbl. garlic, minced
- ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves
- 2 tsp. cider vinegar
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- Place the basil, pine nuts, onion, garlic and one can of crushed tomatoes in a food processor. Pulse about 10 times until smooth. Pour mixture and remaining ingredients in a slow cooker. Cook on high for 1 hour. Stir and reduce heat to low. Cook for an additional 45 – 1 hour while stirring occasionally. Makes about 4 cups of sauce.