Okay, folks, I don’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).  But I have taken her recipe and combined it with my Mother’s family secrets and my own tastes, so here’s my take on it.
And I will say that my mother would TOTALLY DISAPPROVE of this recipe, mostly because her family doesn’t do marinara.  (My mom’s side is the Italian side of me, Dad’s was Irish.)  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.  Not point-friendly, but a wonderful indulgence when she makes it!
But my take on the marinara uses some different tomato products than DDOP, ‘cause that’s what I like and how I roll!  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.  That’s Mom’s secret.  Some people use grated carrot instead, which would be no points at all, but it doesn’t quite do the acid neutralization as well as sugar.  I also use crushed red pepper flakes in mine, which you could totally leave out, and which my Mother totally would (she doesn’t do spicy).  I like my marinara to have a little kick.
Make sure your tomato products are just tomato.  I hate it when they sneak in herbs, like I don’t know how to season things.  Shame on them.  I’d tell you my Mother’s choice for brands on this, but I don’t think we’re supposed to do that.  Look for a red can and it starts with “H.”  Seriously, it’s the most available and by far the best.  It does make a difference.
The result is this is totally delicious, not a ton of work, makes a huge pot, and freezes well.  I estimate this makes at least 24 servings.  Without further ado…
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, it’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.  Stir well and set on low.  Go to bed.  Stir it when you get up in the morning.  It needs to cook, honestly, about 12 hours.  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.  Cool completely, then spoon into freezer zip lock bags and freeze.  You’ll thank yourself for a good few months to come.
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