Preparation time: 25 minutes (plus advance soaking time)
Cooked marinara sauce obtains its flavour from long simmering on the stove to reduce and thicken the sauce. In raw cuisine, the secret to creating a thick, rich, flavourful marinara sauce without cooking is using dehydrated tomatoes. Try this sauce as a substitute for pesto with zucchini pasta.
2 to 3 cups (500 to 750 mL) sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
8 to 10 plum or Roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1/4 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup (60 mL) fresh basil leaves, loosely packed
2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
2 sprigs fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped
4 fresh oregano leaves or 1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried oregano
1/2 tsp (2 mL) sea salt
1/2 tsp (2 mL) Italian seasoning
2 pitted soft dates (optional)
Soak sun-dried tomatoes in water to cover until softened, about 2 hours. Drain well, but reserve the liquid (use it to thin the sauce later if necessary).
Blend fresh tomatoes until smooth; then measure 3 cups (750 mL) tomato purée. If necessary, blend additional tomatoes until you have 3 cups (750 mL). Add 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the drained sun-dried tomatoes and blend; then gradually add remaining sun-dried tomatoes until mixture is thick and dark red. Add onion, basil, olive oil, parsley, garlic, oregano, sea salt, and Italian seasoning, and blend again. If some sweetness is needed, add 1 or 2 dates and blend until smooth.
source: "Raw and tasty", from alive #318, April 2009
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