Two weeks ago my husband Ted spent a few days battling a nasty Spring cold. I plied him with soup, soup and more soup, but there came a moment when neither of us could stand the sight of another bowl of it. With comfort food on my mind, I ransacked the pantry and found all of the ingredients for this recipe, a very traditional meatless marinara sauce. I tossed everything into the slow cooker for six hours; then I added the magic ingredient, the rind from a small wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and continued to cook the sauce for an additional two hours. (For a vegan sauce, simply omit the cheese rind.) You can make this marinara recipe exactly the same way in a Dutch oven on the stovetop, except that you'll have to stir occasionally to keep the sauce from sticking. Pour the sauce over a bowl of spaghetti or gluten-free pasta, top with more parmesan cheese, and let the comforting begin.
Slow cooker chunky marinara sauce, with tomatoes, bell pepper and onions
Serves 10-12 (or more).
2-26oz boxes POMI chopped tomato (or other canned chopped tomatoes)
2 14-oz cans petite diced tomato
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large green bell pepper, diced
1 large stalk celery, diced
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 tsp kosher salt
1 small rind of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (3-4 inches)
Combine all ingredients except the cheese rind in a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker.
Cook on LOW for 6 hours. Add the cheese rind, and cook for an additional 2 hours.
Taste, and adjust seasoning with salt and black pepper, as needed.
Serve hot, or cool completely and freeze in airtight containers.
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Tomato chickpea and coconut soup, from Love and Lemons
Chicken with tomatoes and garlic, from The Pioneer Woman Cooks
Ditalini with roasted tomato sauce, oregano and goat cheese, from Food Wishes
Greek green beans in tomato sauce (fasolakia), from Closet Cooking
Spanish rice, from Simply Recipes
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