PLEEEEAAASE! don't be one of those people who thinks they are being clever by asking if a chef makes their marinara from fresh tomatoes. The staff will be laughing at you back in the kitchen. Now here's the recipe. Don't blink, you might miss it.
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 32oz cans San Marzano tomatoes, or as close in ounces as you can get.
6 cloves finely crushed and minced garlic
2 Tbsp dried basil
*** 1/2 tsp salt
a few turns of cracked black pepper
Do you have a crock pot? You know that thing in the big box your friend's mother told him to get you as a wedding present? If so, open it now. Crock pots are wonderful inventions. In restaurants we have giant kettles that look a lot like RTD2. These are heated along the bottom by steam and are in essence, giant crock pots. Most restaurants make the marinara they serve in these giant steam kettles. You have a mini one at home, go ahead and use it. I suggest using a crock pot because no matter how good your pots are, there is a large chance you could burn this sauce, even on low heat, so why incur the risk. By the way, there is a great book called "Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook," It is a fantastic book, and you will never look at your crock pot the same way again. www.amazon.com/Your-Mothers-Slow-Cooker-Cookbook/dp/1558322450. Turn your Crock pot on low, and add the tomatoes. Using a potato masher, go ahead and crush the tomatoes in the crock pot. It should be deep enough to not risk soiling your clothes. Why use a potato masher? Do you think that little Italian Grandma was using an immersion blender when she was making this sauce for her beloved grandson coming home from months at sea? Also, if you want tomato soup, make tomato soup. Add the black pepper. Now this may seem weird, but put a small fry pan on the stove, and turn it on medium heat. Add the oil, garlic, and dried basil. Fry the garlic and basil for only about thirty seconds, and using a silicone spatula, transfer the contents of the fry pan into the crock pot. Since you can't fry your garlic in the crock pot, this is the only way to really release the essential oils in the basil and garlic, and infuse the oil with all that flavor. Don't salt your marinara at this point. Let it cook for an hour or so before you add any salt. Canned tomatoes usually have salt in them as a preservative, so you may want to taste the sauce before you add anymore salt to make sure it's not salty enough already. You won't really know if the taste is right until it has cooked a while. Add about 6 fresh julienned basil leaves right before serving.