I have written about this before but the key to a good meal is actually know your audience and selecting a menu that they will like. I used to think it was all about how good I made the food. The more I cook for various people, the more I understand that it is all about picking foods and recipes that your guests will enjoy.
This marinara sauce was part of my Italian meal weekend for my family. The sauce was created for both the non-meat eaters but also as the simmering sauce for my meatballs. Appealing to the 2 different constituencies at this meal yet keeping the different dishes to a minimum.
I have also heard different schools of thought on how long you need to let your sauce simmer. This sauce simmered for a couple of hours which I believe falls somewhere in the middle of the different schools.
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
1 dried bay leaves
In a large pot, heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Add the onions and garlic and saute until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the celery, carrots, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bay leaves, and simmer uncovered over low heat until the sauce thickens, about 1 hour.
Remove and discard the bay leaves. Season the sauce with more salt and pepper, to taste.