You know sometimes you just want to get a tasty dinner in a hurry. I sometimes feel that those of us who enjoy cooking sometimes become cooking snobs. It's all about using just the right ingredients, technique, making everything from scratch and bragging about it. That is not always "real world". And for novice cooks this can be intimidating. When I have the time and am in the mood, I enjoy tackling very intricate recipes. I find preparing that type of meal fun and an accomplishment. When time is lacking I look for short cuts that are not short on flavor. I always use natural ingredients and fresh ingredients when available. Yes I love to get the freshest plum tomatoes and make a big patch of marinara sauce freezing extra sauce for future use. For a quick meal I make what I think is pretty good marinara sauce that I can get together in 30 minutes. Then I change what I add to make different recipes. My mother calls this doctoring up the recipe!
Easy Marinara Sauce
1 can Hunt's Petite Diced Tomatoes
2 Tbs olive oil
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
1/2 cup wine
1 Tbs chopped Basil
1 tsp crushed red peppers
salt and pepper to taste
Saute shallot in olive oil for about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another two minutes. Add rest of the ingredients and simmer for about 30 minutes.
Now you can add what ever you want to make different meals. I like to add a 1/2 pound of cleaned raw shrimp and make shrimp with marinara sauce. Or if I want to make a Pescatori, I add 1 pound clams cleaned, 1/2 pound mussel cleaned, 1/4 pound raw pealed pound shrimp and 1/4 pound scallops. I cook the marinara sauce and then I add the clams and mussels, cook covered for 5 minutes until shells open then add the rest of the seafood. Cook another 5 minutes and then serve over pasta.
You serve about 2-4 with good size portions. You can double recipe for a larger group. Add a salad and good bread and you have a very delicious meal in under an hour.