There are no seasons in the American supermarket. Now there are tomatoes all year round, grown halfway around the world, picked when it was green, and ripened with ethylene gas. Although it looks like a tomato, it’s kind of a notional tomato. I mean, it’s the idea of a tomato. —Michael Pollan
Soon there will be an explosion of local tomatoes at the farmer’s market but in early spring, when our supply of preserved pasta sauce dwindles down to a worrisome amount, it’s impossible to think of using crazy-expensive fresh tomatoes for making tomato sauce. Even not-so-fresh looking celery costs a ridiculous 7 dollars a head. To the rescue is a marinara sauce recipe using canned tomatoes and lovage. Lovage is a lesser known herb but a must-have, in my opinion, in every herb garden. Like chives, it’s one of the first to spring up as soon as the snow melts away and a perfect flavouring substitute for celery.
(yields about 3.5 L)
- 440 g onions, finely chopped
- 50 g garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 400 g carrots, finely shredded
- 200 g green zucchini, finely shredded
- 200 g red pepper, shredded
- 8 28 oz cans of tomato (no added salt, BPA free, puree if using whole)
- 65 g fresh lovage, leaves and young stems, minced
- 4 bay leaves
- 8 tsp salt
- 4 tsp dried Greek oregano
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- In a large stock pot, over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add onions and cook until softened.
- Add garlic and continue to cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- Mix in carrots, zucchini, and red pepper and cook for about 5-10 minutes, until vegetables are soft.
- Add the tomato puree, lovage, bay leaves, salt and spices. Mix and cover. Allow to come to a boil.
- Uncover, lower the heat so that it is just simmering. Continue to cook for about 1 hour, until thickened to desired consistency.
- Discard bay leaves before using.
- Use as required and freeze the rest.