Marinara Sauce

This recipe freezes very well.  I make a batch of it and separate it into Ziploc bags and store them in the freezer for our next spaghetti dinner.  I have used this for pizza sauce and I use it for my Chicken Parmesan recipe.This recipe is taken from Everyday Italian: 125 Simple and Delicious Recipes, by Giada De Laurentis.  If you have a food processor this sauce takes minutes to prepare.

1/2 cup extra virgin 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 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes, undrained
2 dried bay leaves

In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onions and garlic and saute until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes.  Add celery, carrots and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper.  Saute until all vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.  Add tomatoes and bay leaves and simmer, uncovered, over low heat until sauce thickens, about 1 hour.  Remove and discard bay leaves. Season sauce with more salt and pepper to taste.  (The sauce can be made 1 day ahead.  Cool, then cover and refrigerate.  Rewarm over medium heat before using).  Makes about 2 quarts (8 cups); 1 quart will serve 4 over cooked pasta as a first course.  NOTE: To freeze, after sauce is completely cool, pour 2-cup portions into freezer bags and freeze up to three months.

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