Happy Fork Report Friday! Today and every Friday, we dedicate ourselves to food. This week's theme is pizza and Italian food.
Ask any Italian-American nonna what the cornerstone of any meal is, and undoubtedly she'll tell you it's the sauce as she stirs her own with a wooden spoon and curses you in Italian under her breath for even asking such a question!
The word marinara translates to "sailor" in English. Historians have been able to trace marinara sauce back to the mid 16th century after Spain introduced the tomato to the rest of Europe. Cooks on ships that visited Spain from Italy crafted the dish. Other theories state that it was Neapolitan wives that created it for their seafaring husbands. Early versions resembled modern salsa.
In Italy, marinara is made with tomatoes, basil, olive oil, garlic and oregano, but also sometimes olives, capers, and salted anchovies. It's best served over your favorite pasta or gnocchi, on pizza, or as a dipping accoutrement.
While good sauce takes time, there are recipes that provide for quick and easy sauce making with great results. I scoured Google for recipes, and decided to share one from Food & Wine magazine. I trust their knowledge base implicitly, and with a solid 5 star rating with 5,570 reviews, you can't go wrong. As they say on the recipe, "A good marinara recipe is worth its weight in gold." Hashtag truth, Food & Wine!
The recipe calls for 1/4 cup EVOO, whole garlic cloves, tomato paste, peeled tomatoes, salt, pepper, sugar, and basil. The ingredients are cooked and combined incrementally, and simmered for around thirty minutes. The full recipe can be found here.