Mediterranean Diet Series #4

IMG_4595Hey Y’all!

We are back at it with the Mediterranean Diet series tonight with homemade marinara sauce. I originally found this recipe on Pinterest. Now as a disclaimer, I do not follow recipes to a “T” unless its baking. Cooking is more of a test and add method for me.

So to start with, I gathered all my essentials…

IMG_4574Fresh parsley and basil, onion, garlic, tomatoes, olive oil, dried oregano, salt/pepper, and the key ingredient balsamic vinegar!

First things first I started to sweat my onions in the olive oil over medium high heat. (watch them!)

IMG_4579While the onions are starting to sweat, chop up your fresh parsley and basil and garlic. I start by pulling the leaves off of the stems for both herbs. Then my chopping method varies for the two. Basil: Gather the leaves into a tight roll and julienne the leaves and then turn the cutting board 180 and chop the julienne basil in half. Parsley: attempt to gather the leave into a pile and chop away until its itty bitty pieces.

IMG_4580  IMG_4582

Make sure to pay attention to your onions while chopping your herbs, burnt onions will not add to the flavor profile of this sauce. Once the onions are translucent and soft, add the chopped garlic, stir for a second and then add the chopped herbs and dried oregano.

IMG_4583IMG_4584Keep stirring this mixture until you can smell the aromatic herbs from across the house! Then we add the tomatoes and bring to a  bubbly boil.

IMG_4586Turn down the heat and let this simmer. I let it simmer for 30-35 minutes while I cleaned up a bit and boiled my pasta.

Once my pasta was al dente, I tossed it in the strainer and let it drain really well.  The key ingredient that makes this dish, is the balsamic vinegar. I added about a tablespoon and a half to my simmering sauce pan. Without this the sauce just tastes tomato-y. The vinegar really adds another dimension and makes it wonderful. Salt and pepper to taste throughout this process for best results.

Dish it up and enjoy! People will think you slaved in the kitchen all day over this sauce! Use it on pasta, in lasagna, or on spaghetti squash for a really healthy meal.

IMG_4589How good does that look?!

Thanks Y’all for stopping by and keeping up with this series!