Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce and Enjoy Sendik's All Week!

I dug out my slow cooker last weekend.  And by dug it out, I mean I finally took my brand spanking new Crock Pot out of its box for the very first time.  I bought it last March, right before spring break.  When we got back from vacation, I’d forgotten all about my shiny new appliance, and the poor thing sat in the garage all summer long.  But a few days ago, my friend Leslie was talking about this yummy slow cooker marinara sauce she does, and I decided to finally open the box and put it to good use.

I used her recipe as a general guideline.  I cooked mine for about 12 hours, then tossed in two dozen (or so) of these meatballs, which I browned for 10 minutes in a 425 degree oven and cooked the rest of the way in the sauce (about three hours on low).  Here’s the skinny:

SLOW COOKER MARINARA
YIELDS:  6-7 cups (roughly)
SOURCE:  Adapted from a recipe by my friend Leslie Murphy : )

5 lbs. fresh tomatoes, washed, stemmed, cored and sliced (Stem Tomatoes are on sale)
5 large cloves garlic, peeled
1 large yellow onion, peeled and sliced
1 box of basil (I used one and a half boxes because I had them on hand)
1 generous handful fresh Italian parsley
1 large pinch dried oregano, crumbled
1 T. Sendik’s olive oil
1 -2 t. kosher salt
generous grinding of fresh black pepper
1 small can tomato paste
1 t. sugar (or more if desired)

Place sliced tomatoes in the bottom of a slow cooker.  Top with garlic, sliced onion, basil, Italian parsley, oregano, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Cover slow cooker with lid; set cooker to low and cook for 8 – 10 hours, stirring occasionally.  Add tomato paste and sugar; stir to combine.  Taste sauce; adjust seasonings as desired.  Use a stick blender to puree sauce to desired consistency.  Use sauce immediately or cool and transfer to freezer containers in desired portions.

Here are a few more recipe ideas to get you through your busy week:

Use your fresh tomato sauce and the sale Sargento Ricotta Cheese to make this super easy, super kid friendly, and super yummy dressed up Ravioli in Creamy Tomato Sauce.  Serve a salad and some good quality bread on the side (Sendik’s Ciabatta Rolls are also on sale).

Homemade pizza on Trick-or-Treating night is a DamFam tradition.  Make your own using the sale Sciortino’s dough (find this in the bakery) or, use the sale Sendik’s Ciabatta Rolls to make my favorite French Bread PizzasSargento Shredded Cheeses are on sale.

One final delicious, kid friendly dinner idea for you:  Weeknight Fish & Chips.  I know I talk about it all the time but it is soooooo yummy.  Fresh, Wild Caught Premium Cod Fillets are on sale; you’ll also need a couple of eggs and Shurfresh Grade A Large Eggs are on sale if you’re running low.  I can’t wait to make this again — it’s a hit here every time.

Hope you’re having a great week. : )

Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous, News | October 25th, 2012