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A Taste of California Italian

Succulent strands of al dente pasta embraced a rich and velvety tomato sauce, adorned with a generous sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan, promising a symphony of flavors in every savory bite... reading this you may think you have walked into a kitchen in an Italian neighborhood, but you don't need to leave your home to experience the joys of velvety, rich tomato sauce. Here in California, we have an absolutely amazing and ever growing variety of tomatoes. If you frequent the farmers markets, you may find like I do, they are best served up fresh, with heaps for fresh herbs!

The secret to an authentic Italian tomato sauce, lies in the quality of the tomatoes themselves. I opt for a can of ripe, from Italy San Marzano tomatoes, saving the California fresh ones for a variety of different salads. This essential ingredient, along with a slow and patient simmering process and a splash of good quality wine, infuses the sauce with deep, robust flavors. Balanced with a gentle combination of fresh herbs, garlic, olive oil, and a touch of sugar, your sauce can taste truly authentic and become a memorable culinary experience for you and your loved ones.

Riviera Marinara

2 tb olive oil

½ large sweet onion, small diced

1 medium carrot, peeled and shredded

3 cloves garlic, crushed

2 32 oz Cans Whole Italian San Marzano Tomatoes, hand crushed

½ c white wine, (I prefer Sauvignon Blanc)

½ tsp sugar

5-6 large basil leaves

Pinch of red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper

Optional: 1 tb Fermented Chili Paste

Heat olive oil over medium heat, add onions and carrot stirring often to prevent sticking, until the onions start to get translucent, and the carrots begin to caramelize, add crushed garlic, stir and cook briefly until fragrant. Add the wine and deglaze pan until wine is almost dissolved, add crushed tomatoes, sugar, red pepper, salt, pepper and chili paste if using. Give it a stir. Drop basil leaves in the pot and gently sink them into the tomatoes. Let simmer, over medium low, stirring occasionally for about 1 hour.

Puree with an immersion blender but leave a little texture. At this point if it is too acidic add a very tiny pinch of baking soda only if needed! Keep cooking for an additional 15-20 min to thicken up.

Serve with Spaghetti and Meatballs or any other way you enjoy.

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