Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Jazz up what's in the jar



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Use store-bought or homemade marinara to create these pasta sauces. (From the March issue of Fine Cooking magazine.)

• Basil marinara: Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in saucepan. Pour in 3 cups marinara, bring to boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Stir in 1/4 to 1/2 cup torn fresh basil leaves. Simmer 5 minutes and toss with pasta.

• Arrabbiata sauce: Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat in saucepan. Add 1/4 pound finely diced pancetta or prosciutto, 2 teaspoons minced garlic and scant 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes. Cook until garlic is golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Add 3 cups marinara and 1/4 cup torn basil. Simmer until hot and toss with pasta.

• Pink sauce: In large saute pan over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons butter. Pour in 11/2 cups heavy cream. Raise heat to medium high, simmer, stirring often, until sauce reduces to about 1 cup, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup marinara and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Simmer until hot and serve with pasta.

• Vodka sauce: In large saute pan over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons butter. Saute 1 finely chopped medium onion with 1/4 pound finely diced pancetta or prosciutto until onion is tender. Pour in 1/2 cup marinara and 1/4 to 1/2 cup vodka. Simmer and stir, until sauce is reduced by about 1/4. Stir in 1 cup heavy cream and simmer until heated through. Season to taste with salt, pepper and Tabasco sauce. (Adapted from www.cooks.com.)

• Puttanesca sauce: In large saute pan over medium heat, brown 3 crushed garlic cloves in 3 tablespoons olive oil. Mash garlic as it cooks; remove and discard it when it browns. Add 5 mashed anchovy fillets, rinsed and patted dry (or 21/2 teaspoons anchovy paste) into the hot oil and stir until they dissolve, about 30 seconds. Stir in 21/2 tablespoons rinsed capers and 1/4 teaspoon chile flakes and cook 3 minutes. Add 3 cups marinara, 1/2 cup pitted and quartered black olives, 11/2 teaspoons dried oregano and 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley. Simmer until hot and toss with pasta.

Chuck Martin




TASTE TEST: MARINARA
Making the most of marinara
Price no issue in sauce test
Use fresh ingredients for easy sauce
Meet the Taste Team
Jazz up what's in the jar
More uses for marinara

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