Garden Vegetable Marinara Sauce
By definition, a marinara sauce contains tomatoes, onions, garlic, and herbs; from there, the variations are endless—but no matter what goes in, the result should be more than the sum of its parts. A relatively brief simmer—a hallmark of marinara—gave way to a deeply flavorful sauce.
Makes about 6 cups; enough for 1 pound pasta
2 (28‐ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes
¼ cup extra‐virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped fine
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
¼ ounce dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed and minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano or ½ teaspoon dried
⅓ cup dry red wine
Salt and pepper
1 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced ¼ inch thick
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1. Drain tomatoes in fine-mesh strainer set over bowl. Using hands, open tomatoes and remove seeds and cores. Let tomatoes drain for 5 minutes. (You should have about 2½ cups juice; if not, add water as needed to equal 2½ cups.) Measure out and reserve ¾ cup tomatoes separately.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and carrot and cook until softened and lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in mushrooms, garlic, and oregano and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in remaining tomatoes and increase heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring often, until liquid has evaporated and tomatoes begin to brown and stick to skillet, 10 to 12 minutes.
3. Stir in wine and cook until thick and syrupy, about 1 minute. Stir in tomato juice, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper, scraping up any browned bits. Bring to simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened, 8 to 10 minutes.
4. Transfer sauce to food processor, add reserved tomatoes, and pulse until slightly chunky, about 4 pulses.
5. Wipe skillet clean with paper towels. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add zucchini and cook, without stirring, until well browned, about 2 minutes. Stir and continue to cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Return sauce to skillet and bring to brief simmer. Stir in basil and remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt, pepper, and sugar to taste. (Sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.)