Marinara Sauce: Hold the Baking Soda

I wanted to do a follow up on the whole baking soda incident with the chef. I got to work on Wednesday and I caught him right away. I told him I didn’t feel comfortable putting baking soda in my marinara sauce. First, he tells me, “You know, you don’t know everything about cooking?” Of course, I don’t know everything about cooking.  The day I think I know everything about cooking is the day I don’t need to be to be in the business anymore.

“I’m trying to get you to open your mind to new ways of cooking,” he says.

“I’m really particular to the way I do my sauce and it doesn’t call for baking soda,” I reply, “We can cut the acid by adding carrots.”

“Matt, you’re acting like a bitch,” was his quick response.

I held my composer. This is not easy for me to do.

“Look, I don’t want to put a chemical in my sauce,” I stated, “I want to keep my sauce natural…and I’m not a bitch.”

After, a little bit he said, “Ok, I just want the sauce to taste good”. He apologized for calling me a bitch and the sauce turned out good.

Fuck baking soda! We’re not baking a cake here.


So, here is a basic marinara sauce for ya.


Marinara Sauce


2 tbsp olive oil

1 diced sweet onion

1 tbsp minced garlic

2 diced carrots

1 small can tomato paste

2 cups red wine dry

1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes

1 tbsp. basil

2 tsp thyme

2 tsp oregano

Salt and pepper to taste




Turn on stove to med high and heat the pan, add the onion and carrots. Cook onions till they are caramelized, then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and cook till the tomato paste is soft. Add your wine and deglaze the bottom of the pan stirring till the wine starts to thicken up. Add your crushed tomatoes, basil, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover and lower heat to med low. Cook for 45 min.


When the sauce is ready, puree the sauce and serve.


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