Okay, folks, I donâ€™t post a lot of recipes these days (mostly because some of them I make up as I go along), and this particular one was the idea of someone else (google Daily Dose of Petter Slow Cooker Marinara to find it). Â But I have taken her recipe and combined it with my Motherâ€™s family secrets and my own tastes, so hereâ€™s my take on it.
And I will say that my mother would TOTALLY DISAPPROVE of this recipe, mostly because her family doesnâ€™t do marinara. Â (My momâ€™s side is the Italian side of me, Dadâ€™s was Irish.) Â Her family does more along the lines of Sunday Gravy, which is started with some kind of pork product and has a bunch of delicious things like meatballs and sausage in it. Â Not point-friendly, but a wonderful indulgence when she makes it!
But my take on the marinara uses some different tomato products than DDOP, â€˜cause thatâ€™s what I like and how I roll! Â It also uses a bit of sugar (not enough to make it sweet, and not enough to cause a point increase) to counteract the acid in the tomato. Â Thatâ€™s Momâ€™s secret. Â Some people use grated carrot instead, which would be no points at all, but it doesnâ€™t quite do the acid neutralization as well as sugar. Â I also use crushed red pepper flakes in mine, which you could totally leave out, and which my Mother totally would (she doesnâ€™t do spicy). Â I like my marinara to have a little kick.
Make sure your tomato products are just tomato. Â I hate it when they sneak in herbs, like I donâ€™t know how to season things. Â Shame on them. Â Iâ€™d tell you my Motherâ€™s choice for brands on this, but I donâ€™t think weâ€™re supposed to do that. Â Look for a red can and it starts with â€œH.â€ Â Seriously, itâ€™s the most available and by far the best. Â It does make a difference.
The result is this is totally delicious, not a ton of work, makes a huge pot, and freezes well. Â I estimate this makes at least 24 servings. Â Without further adoâ€¦
4 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes
2 28-ounce cans tomato puree
1 medium onion, chopped
3 Tablespoons minced garlic
1 Tablespoon garlic powder (stop complaining, itâ€™s Italian food)
1 Tablespoon dried minced basil (or, if in season, fresh basil, about 1/4 to 1/3 cup, chopped)
2 Tablespoons dried Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper (more or less to your taste)
Put everything in the slow cooker. Â Stir well and set on low. Â Go to bed. Â Stir it when you get up in the morning. Â It needs to cook, honestly, about 12 hours. Â I guess you could do 6 on high, but the lower and slower and longer is really better and totally makes a difference in the flavor. Â Cool completely, then spoon into freezer zip lock bags and freeze. Â Youâ€™ll thank yourself for a good few months to come.