This week’s CSA from Strites’ included honeycrisp apples, peaches, tomatoes, onions, corn, and a cantaloupe. I have ideas for the peaches and cantaloupe, but I gave the corn and most of the apples to my co-worker. The tomatoes and onions inspired me to make marinara sauce.
Marinara sauce is a classic red sauce that is not complicated to make with fresh ingredients. I have dreams of dipping fresh from the oven garlic knots in homemade marinara sauce. For now, it is too hot to bake the garlic knots, but since I received the tomatoes in the CSA and they are still fresh, I decided I would make the sauce and freeze it and save it for when it’s cooler. I found a recipe that was simple and easy to follow. First, I sautéed garlic and an onion in olive oil. I then added the tomatoes, basil, and other spices. Then, I simmered it for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
The sauce was too chunky for my liking so I put it in my blender and pureed it. Imagine my surprise when my marinara sauce went from red to orange! The sauce did become a bit more red after sitting for a bit, but it still wasn’t a deep red like a classic marinara sauce.
Here are a few reasons why tomato sauce turns orange:
- Using a blender-blending causes the sauce to oxidize, thus changing its color from red to orange
- The tomatoes weren’t fully mature-while they may appear red on the outside, once the tomatoes start cooking, the pigment changes
- Not blanching the tomatoes and removing the seeds-removing the skin and seeds can help the sauce maintain its red color
- Other ingredients-the onions, garlic, and basil affect the color of the sauce
- Cooking time-cooking too long or too little can affect the color of the sauce