Thursday, September 19, 2013

Slow Cooker Mushroom Basil Marinara

Like I told you all in my last post, I'm on a very strict diet and one of the biggest NO-NOs is canned or jarred tomato sauce; there's just too much sugar and other junk so I figured this would be a great opportunity to make my own! I looked up a few recipes and some called for 2 types, one type, or a bunch of types and thats what I wanted. I like a lot of flavors so I chose 4 different types of tomatoes: cherry, heirloom, roma, and plum. Each has a different taste, and when cooked together, marry very well together. So, after 2 days of cooking, I tasted it with some zucchini spaghetti last night... holy crap. IT. WAS. AMAZING!!! I could have done it in the slow cooker for about 8-10 hours but after that much time it just didn't seem ready enough. So I let it go overnight then all day again for a total of 30 hours. I know that is a LOT of time, but just turn it on when you leave for work one day (ON LOW!!!) and keep it going until dinner the next night. The longer the better, I promise!  BUT, if you're impatient, then overnight for 8 hours plus and extra 4 on low is just fine! The different tomatoes each bring a sweetness and the mushrooms add some great texture. Clearly I have an addiction to garlic so I added about 10 cloves and it was just lovely. Finally, a bunch of chopped basil made for a great zing of extra flavor! This is great on top of chicken, pasta, or even by itself with some bread for dipping!

What you'll need:
1 lb. cherry tomatoes
1 lb. baby heirloom tomatoes
1 lb. roma tomatoes
1 lb. plum tomatoes
1 lb. sliced crimini mushrooms
1/2 lb. sliced shiitake mushrooms
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, sliced and lightly sautéed
2 tbs. kosher salt
1 tbs. pepper
16 basil leaves, chopped

1. Chop the roma and plum tomatoes into 1/2" cubes, and slice the cherry and heirloom tomatoes in half (ok, I totally skipped this step and maybe that's why it took so long for mine to cook...). Slice your mushrooms and mince your garlic.
2. Toss EVERYTHING into the slow cooker and cook on LOW for about 8-10 hours. Cook again for 4 hours on HIGH.
3. Let cool and serve with pasta, chicken, or bread.

enjoy :)

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