Monday, September 20, 2010

Easy Spaghetti Marinara

I think pastas are great. They are easy to prepare, minimal mess in the kitchen, a wonderful one pot meal and you can throw in just about anything you like into it. I was inspired to make marinara for dinner after walking past our neighbour's apartment and catching a whiff of what smelt like grilled calamari. So, I decided to make spaghetti marinara for dinner that night.

I searched the web and found Giada's recipe for marinara sauce. It looked simple and had rave reviews. Based on her recipe, I added some tomato paste, parsley and mixed herbs for a little more flavour. I wanted the sauce to be more liquid, so I also added about a cup of water to it. I omitted the celery as I didn't have any at the time. It turned out great and the kids loved it!

Here is the recipe I used, adapted from Giada de Laurentiis:


1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp dried Italian herbs
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
400g canned crushed tomatoes
1 dried bay leaf
600g mixed seafood (mussels, fish, prawns, calamari, squid etc)

300g dried spaghettini, cooked till al dente


In a large casserole pot, heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Add the onions and garlic and saute until the onions are translucent. Add the celery and carrots. Saute until all the vegetables are soft. Add the tomato paste, tomatoes, dried herbs and bay leaf, with a cup of water and simmer uncovered over low heat until the sauce thickens, about 1 hour. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the seafood to the sauce and cook for about 3-4 minutes or so. Stir in chopped parsley and serve over cooked pasta.