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Sunday, February 27, 2011

freezer-safe plastic bags-the real star.

It's potluck time at IHCC and well the dish I'm bringing to the table is going to be um...frozen.I took the idea of a "potluck" dish and put it in the freezer.

No seriously...I made marinara sauce and I'm freezing it.I decided to make Giada de Laurentiis's  marinara sauce  from Everyday Italian and you know when I decided to make some homemade fried cheese sticks I will have one heck of a dipping sauce,thanks Giada. Here's the before before the after in the freezer:
I rounded up the bulk of my ingredients: celery,carrots,onion,garlic,tomatoes and salt and pepper.
****And just a small note about the onion and tomatoes-see the recipe called for 2 small onions and 2 32-ounce cans of crushed tomatoes.I had to improvise just a little.I only had some rather large onions,so I used a medium-to-largish size onions instead of 2 small ones. And oh the 'maters,I had 2 28-ounce cans and the recipe called for 2 32-ounce,well I grabbed an extra 14.5-ounce can of diced tomatoes from the pantry and called it even.****
So there.
Moving right along,finely chop the onion,garlic,carrots and celery. Heat up the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high flame and soften the onion and garlic together. Then add the carrots,celery,salt and pepper and soften them as well.Next add in the tomatoes and the bay leaves.
And now bring all the ingredients up to a simmer,reduce the heat and simmer for an hour.At this point I cleaned up my prep dishes and went to fold some laundry. It's an hour,you would be amazed at all you can an accomplish in one hour. Today it's folding towels,oh the life.
Before I got knee deep in towels,I prepped my Ziploc bags for the freezer. The recipe says it make 2 quarts (8 cups) and I figure/hope that 4 cups will fit in this big ol' bag and will freeze nicely.
Here we are and hour or so later,the sauce has cooked and will now chill overnight in our fridge and then I will pour it up. Trying to juggle hot marinara sauce in strong yet flimsy plastic bags is not my idea of a good time.A glass of wine and a good book,now we're talkin.
The recipe seems pretty straightforward and should be a great compliment to some italian sausage and pasta or even some of those cheese sticks.Mmmm fried cheese.
Marinara Sauce
adapted from Everyday Italian
by Giada de Laurentiis
Makes 8 cups(2 quarts)
1 quart will serve 4 over pasta as a first course (says Giada)
1/2 cup olive oil
2 small onions,finely chopped
2 garlic cloves,finely chopped
2 celery stalks,finely chopped
2 carrots,peeled and finely chopped
1/2 tsp sea salt,plus more to taste
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
2 dried bay leaves
1.In a large pot,heat the olive oil over a medium-high flame. Add the onions and garlic and saute until the onions are translucent,about 10 minutes. Add the celery,carrots and 1/2 tsp salt and pepper.Saute until the vegetables are softened,about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bay leaves,and simmer uncovered over low heat until the sauce thickens,about 1 hour.
2. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Season the sauce with more salt and pepper to taste.(The sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cool,then cover and refrigerate. Re-warm over medium heat before serving.)


  1. Great idea to do it up for the freezer! Now you will have instant marinara sauce whenever you need it. Brilliant!

  2. So smart to stock up your freezer with fresh sauce!

  3. I have heard great things about Giada's marinara recipes. Great idea to make ahead and freeze for later. You will be so happy to have them later.

  4. I have been on a freezer kick lately.I made up batches of vegetable stock,chicken stock and beef stock AND shocker I froze it all.It has come in handy .I wrote a post on the veg stock and now I have to post the awesome soup recipe that goes with it.And I'll do the same with the chicken and beef stock too!Oh the convenience of the freezer!