Marinara sauce is one of the pillars of Americanized Italian cuisine. The basic ingredients are simple: chopped tomatoes, olive oil, onions, garlic, salt, pepper, and any other extra goodies you want to throw in the pan to enhance its flavor. Why then, after centuries of its existence, do restaurants still manage to find a way to foul it up? Is it just me or does a disturbing amount of places serve sauces of which resemble watered-down tomatoes? Sometimes I would rather pour a bottle of V8 into my plate of pasta. After finally coming to terms with the sad truth that not everyone can whip up a mean sauce like my grandmother, I have decided to take the initiative and enlighten everyone on how to save a bad marinara sauce at your local Italian restuarant.
Given the current economic crisis, it is more important than ever to be more wise when it comes to selecting a suitable place to dine out. If you are going to pay over 400% of the food's value, then let it be absolutely delicious because you just cannot afford to be disappointed with your meal these days. On top of that, this culture in which we are stuck in forces the average eater to tip the people of who prepare and bring out your food. So, when your $15 plate of pasta marinara is bad, and there is little the kitchen staff can do about it except change their menu at your behest, it is then time for you to take matters into your own hands.
To combat your V8 , simply add the following to your plate:
-a pack of sugar (yes, sugar is the miracle worker for it balances the salty taste and adds a delightful sweetness to your sauce)
Note: If a pack of sugar is too sweet, then try half the amount.
-lots of grated cheese (need I explain?)
-if you have already ordered it, a teaspoon of red wine (this adds an enticingly new aroma to the dish that simply could not be detected in sauces in which the red wine was added during its cooking process)
I am not offering you a lifesaver. In the event that you have followed my directions and the sauce is still an insult to Italians (those in Italy, that is) everywhere, then I suggest you ask your server for a different entree or make it a mental note to never come back to this joint.
Now that I have shared with you my insightful yet unscientific strategy on combating bad marinara sauce, I thought I can do you the favor of providing a list of a few restuarants of who I believe serve that frightful watered-down tomato:
-Pinocchio Restaurant (Burbank, CA)
-Paul's Italian Villa (Simi Valley, CA) Nice interior though.
-Miceli's Italian Restuarant (Hollywood, CA) Servers impersonating amateur singers/actors do not make up for bad sauce.
Surprisingly, the best marinara sauce I have tasted so far is at California Pizza Kitchen
; the Sausage and Pepper Penne is amazing.
I hope I have not insulted any Italians (those in Italy, that is) in this article.
For more info: contact me