Easy, Authentic Marinara From Fresh Garden Tomatoes

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It’s about that time.  If you grow tomatoes, you’ve probably already made salsa, bruschetta, BLT’s, more salads than you can remember, and eaten them like apples.  If you still have beautiful tomatoes around, try this sauce.  It only works with super-ripe, juicy garden tomatoes.  It doesn’t require simmering all day, and has an unmistakable fresh taste that cannot be duplicated by canned tomatoes (although I also love marinara made with canned tomatoes in the off-season).  It is a simple dish that’s a real treat.

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Fresh Tomato Marinara

1 medium Spanish onion, chopped
3 fresh garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup olive oil
3 pounds super-ripe fresh garden tomatoes (about 10-12 medium)
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano

This first step is the most important.  Heat olive oil in a large skillet on your lowest stove setting. Add onion and garlic and cook VERY LOW and slowly, until they soften and yellow.  Garlic browns and burns very easily and if it happens, it will ruin the dish.  On my stove it takes about 15″ on low to get the garlic right.
In the meantime, with a serrated knife, core, and then chop the tomatoes up into approx 1″ pieces, saving all the juice.  You might want to do this on a cookie sheet, so you don’t lose the juice.
When the garlic and onion are ready, add the tomatoes and all other ingredients, raise heat and bring to a simmer.  It will look like this:

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wish you could smell this

Let simmer until it reduces by about 1/3, or to a consistency you like.  I like it quite thickened, so I simmer it about an hour.  Serve with your favorite pasta.  If you have leftovers, save them to turn into vodka sauce.  I’ll post that recipe soon.  Serves 4.

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