Green Thumbin’ It

This summer, I’ve been growing a lil’ mini-garden, thanks to Mama Ruthie’s financing and generosity.
On my back stoop, I have two giant terra cotta planters containing a green bell pepper plant, and a tomato plant. In the small garden space next to my stoop, I’ve got a gigantic cherry tomato plant and an herb garden (thyme, parsley, oregano, sage, chives, and garlic chives).
Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you how much I hate tomatoes. And peppers. So what am I doing watering them once a day, meticulously tending to them as if they’re my small, adopted children? It’s all about change, people! Pushing past boundaries, putting myself in horribly uncomfortable situations, and, apparently, eating tomatoes–seeds and all.
I love when I have time on the weekend to do some serious cooking. Like, spend the day sipping coffee, dancing to a little Lumineers, and putting together delicious dish after delicious dish. It really sets me up to be successful for the week–if you fail to plan, you can plan to fail.
Among other things (pork roast, overnight oats, more new and delish cookies, beans), this weekend I put together what has to seriously be the best marinara. I kid you not. I’ve tried plenty of other recipes, a variety of jarred sauces, and even tried a few of my own less-than successful concoctions. Nothing compares to this. Maybe it was including green peppers and tomatoes from my garden that finally made the recipe gods smile down on me.
Marinara Sauce
Makes 8 cups

Ingredients:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 C chopped yellow onion
1 diced green bell pepper
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup red wine (I used pinot noir)
1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
5-10 quartered cherry tomatoes
1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
1/2 tbsp. dried basil (you could use fresh; I didn’t have any)
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt

  • In a large sauce pot, saute onion and pepper in olive oil over medium heat until onion is translucent (about 5-10 mins).
  • Add garlic and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Over high heat, pour in the wine and scrap up any brown bits in the pan. Continue to cook on high heat, stirring occasionally so nothing burns, until most of the wine evaporates (about 3 minutes).
  • Stir in both tomatoes, herbs, sugar, pepper, and salt, cover completely and simmer on lowest heat for 30-45 minutes. I also rinse the tomato can with a bit of water, to get all the tomato from the sides of the can, and pour that into the sauce.

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