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Garlic-free marinara sauce

Submitted by on Saturday, 27 March 2010 No Comment

This is versatile recipe – it’s our pizza, spaghetti, manicotti and lasagna sauce – that I’d make even if allergies weren’t a factor because it’s so easy to cook in bulk. Not to mention that it tastes better than any jarred sauce we’ve found – even Big Guy thinks so, and that says a lot. Oh, and it’s much cheaper than store-bought sauce as well.

The only hard part is finding a garlic-free tomato product. Most tomato sauces include garlic. Most purees are safe, but be sure to check the label. The local commissary doesn’t carry puree, though, so I use crushed tomatoes and puree them in the food processor. Yes, Big Guy is that picky about texture.

The spinach is a highly optional ingredient, and if you’ve never used it before it’s best to start out with a smaller amount. I slowly built the guys up to the current quantity. Sometimes I’ll add green pepper as well, pureeing it with the spinach and onion. I prefer fresh herbs but they’re cost-prohibitive where we live right now.

This also is a big batch, and I’ll wind up freezing most of it. If I have time, I’ll make an even bigger batch and can it. Be sure you add a tablespoon of lemon juice to each jar, though – it adds enough acidity to prevent the sauce from spoiling.

This version might be a overly spicy for some, but we really don’t like the taste of tomatoes around here. The recipe has no fat, and the extra spices help boost the flavor. Non-tomato haters could easily cut the spices in half, though.

Garlic-free marinara sauce

  • 1 box frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 2 medium onions
  • 3, 20 ounce cans of garlic-free crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can of water
  • 1 tbl. oregano
  • 2 tbl. parsley
  • 2 tbl. basil
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 c. parmesan cheese

Puree spinach and onion in a food processor. Under no circumstances should you try pureeing spinach in a blender – instead of turning into puree, the strands wrap around the blender blade. Or so I’ve heard.

Combine the rest in a five-quart Crock Pot and cook on high for six hours. Yes, I know the folklore about not adding dried spices until the end when you’re using a slow cooker, but we’ve never noticed any difference.

Copyright 2010 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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