Think beyond spaghetti with this weeknight-easy fresh marinara. The sauce (and its variations) is delicious served over ravioli or polenta or spooned on bread and baked with cheese for a pizzalike appetizer.
If nice fresh roma tomatoes are not available, substitute two 28-ounce cans whole peeled roma tomatoes, drained and chopped (should be about 3 cups). Reduce the salt to 1/4 teaspoon.
To peel and seed tomatoes: Cut a shallow X on the base of each tomato. Using a slotted spoon, dip tomatoes into boiling water for 15 seconds, then transfer to cold water. When cooled slightly, use a paring knife to gently pull off the skin. To remove the seeds, cut the tomato in half and scoop or squeeze out the seeds.
Ratatouille-Style Tomato Sauce
In Step 1, cook 2 cups chopped eggplant and 1/2 cup chopped yellow sweet pepper with the onion and garlic until tender. In Step 2, add 1 1/2 cups chopped zucchini with the tomatoes. Increase the balsamic vinegar to 1 tablespoon and the salt to 3/4 teaspoon.Nutrition analysis per serving: 87 calories, 2 g protein, 11 g carbohydrate, 3 g total fat (0 g sat. fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 7 g total sugar, 38 Vitamin A, 74% Vitamin C, 303 mg sodium, 4% calcium, 5% iron
Savory Green Bean
In Step 2, add 3 cups chopped fresh green beans and 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary with the tomatoes. Simmer until green beans are desired tenderness. Omit basil.Nutrition analysis per serving: 86 calories, 2 g protein, 11 g carbohydrate, 3 g total fat (0 g sat. fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 6 g total sugar, 31% Vitamin A, 45%Vitamin C, 206 mg sodium, 4% calcium, 6% iron
Prepare as directed, except in Step 2, stir in 3/4 cup whipping cream with the basil.Nutrition analysis per serving: 173 calories, 2 g protein, 8 g carbohydrate, 14 g total fat (7 g sat. fat), 41 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 5 g total sugar, 34% Vitamin A, 35% Vitamin C, 214 mg sodium, 5% calcium, 4% iron
Sausage and Mushroom Tomato Sauce
In Step 1, add 1/2 pound Italian sausage (remove casings if present) and 1 cup sliced mushrooms with the onion and garlic. Cook until sausage is browned and onions are tender. At the end, if desired, stir in 1/4 cup sliced pimiento-stuffed green olives. Nutrition analysis per serving: 212 calories, 8 g protein, 9 g carbohydrate, 15 g total fat (5 g sat. fat), 29 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 4 g total sugar, 27% Vitamin A, 36% Vitamin C, 575 mg sodium, 4% calcium, 7% iron
69 calories; fat 3g; carbohydrates 8g; mono fat 2g; insoluble fiber 2g; sugars 4g; protein 2g; vitamin a 1334.1IU; vitamin c 20.8mg; thiamin 0.1mg; niacin equivalents 0.9mg; vitamin b6 0.2mg; folate 25mcg; sodium 202mg; potassium 385mg; calcium 28mg; iron 0.7mg.