Marinara Sauce

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A few weeks ago I did a post calculating the astonishing amount of sugar that a five-year-old could consume in a single day by eating typical processed and restaurant food.  As a follow-up I said that I would post some recipes for dishes that could be substituted for the more sugary, processed items that populate grocery store shelves.  Today’s post, marinara sauce, is the third in that series.

Marinara sauce is one of those kitchen staples I try to always have on hand.  It’s the simplest of tomato sauces, consisting of just tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and a few seasonings, simmered together until the sauce has reduced slightly and the flavors have blended.  (Depending on whom you ask, it may or may not have onions – my preference is to leave them out.)  It’s also extremely versatile, serving as a sauce for not only pasta but vegetables and meat as well.

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Weeknight Tomato Soup

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Soup is one of my favorite go-to dishes for busy weeknights.  It can be made ahead and in large batches, which means you can easily prepare single-serving size portions to use later.  It’s flexible, performing equally well as an appetizer, paired with a salad or a sandwich, or standing alone as the main course.  Its roster of ingredients can be varied at a moment’s notice, allowing you to use up that aging zucchini or lonely potato hiding in the back of the vegetable drawer.

Best of all, soup is an undeniable marker of the seasons.  Who doesn’t associate gazpacho with late summer’s abundance of fresh tomatoes or creamy butternut squash soup with the Thanksgiving table? Read More