I was going to call this Foolproof Marinara, but let’s just cut to the chase. It’s easy. Let’s start with just the marinara itself.
½ a pretty good sized white or yellow onion making ½ to ¾ cup
Note: Onion powder does not provide required sweetness.
4 to 5 garlic cloves or 1 Tbsp garlic powder or 1½ Tbsp prepared minced garlic
2 28oz cans of crushed tomatoes
up to ¼ C “Italian seasoning” to taste
Mince the onion, or chop it very fine, or pulp it in something electric.
Place your onion in a large sauce pan. Remember you will start with a half-gallon of fluid. So choose a big pan.
Let it just soften over a 40% flame, six minutes or so, add the garlic then dump in the tomatoes.
Add the Italian seasoning. You can leave it on top for now. Do not cover.
When this concoction starts to bubble turn down the flame to about 20%.
Let it sit for not less than 20 minutes. You really can’t overcook this so you could leave it for an hour or more. Stirring occasionally.. It only gets better with time over the fire.
If you would like to make this as part of a meal which may be readily adapted for vegetarian friends:
1 lb. of whole-wheat spaghetti
Yeah, you can use mundane processed-flour pasta if you must. We’re fat Americans, so every ml of sugar you can save is worthwhile. Whole wheat pasta is more difficult to overcook.
the other half-onion and another onion
2 green bell peppers
8 oz.fresh sliced white mushrooms or 13.5 oz canned mushrooms
not less than ¼ C olive oil or butter, and another 2 Tbsp of oil or butter.
Up to 2 cups of Parmesan Cheese, anticipating you will use a shaker of this stuff instead of getting it ground at the gourmet grocery.
If you are living in the parts of the world where one must blend your pasta with sauce, replace one of the cans of crushed tomatoes with one 13.5 oz can of tomato sauce and another can of diced tomatoes.
Pour too much water in your largest pot. Place on a high flame, covered until rolling boil.
Julienne both your onions and peppers. Reserve about one-quarter of the onions.
Let the water boil
Let your second-largest pan brew the reserved onions. Prepare the marinara according to the above instructions.
Add to a frying pan over medium fire, the 2 Tbsp of oil or butter and once hot, the remaining onions and peppers.
When the onions and peppers sweat, add the mushrooms.
When the big pot of water is at a rolling boil, add your quarter cup of oil or butter.
When the rolling boil resumes dump in the spaghetti. Cook for eight minutes. If you must use white-flour spaghetti cook for a maximum of six minutes.
When the onions start to brown pull the onions, peppers and mushrooms from the fire and let sit. They aren’t burned; they’re “caramelized”.
Drain your pasta. Then split evenly among four plates.
Sprinkle copious amounts of Parmesan cheese on the bare pasta.
Ladle the marinara and top with onions, peppers and mushrooms.
If you must blend the pasta and sauce before serving, drain pasta and return quickly to the still-warm pot. Quickly add the marinara and onions and peppers, but fold until well distributed. At this point you may add cheese. Shake only enough to be seen then fold. Shake a little more then fold.
I aspire to write this up in a way the most alienated victim of white privilege could follow. But its early on Sunday morning and the wine is running low.