Like any good Italian, my favorite cookie is my mom's. So I've been adopting her marinara recipe and trying to tweak it for even more impact.

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Original Ingredients (mom):
	•	10 ripe roma tomatoes 
	•	20 fresh basil leaves 
	•	12 cloves of garlic 
	•	1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil 
	•	56oz canned plum tomatoes 
	•	24oz organic strained tomatoes (no sugar, preferably no salt/citric acid)
	•	2-3 teaspoons freeze dried basil 
	•	Pepper 
	•	Salt

Original Recipe (mom):
	•	Remove core of each tomato and "x" the bottom
	•	Take basil leaves off stems, put in cold water (to clean)
	•	Put tomatoes in salted boiling water for 30-60 seconds
	•	Remove tomatoes when skin is splitting, put in cold water
	•	Squish tomato over sink to remove skin
	•	Peel and remove end from garlic, then slice as thin as possible
	•	Dice tomatoes 
	•	Add 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat, let warm
	•	Add garlic and keep mixing (sauté) 
	•	Once garlic is translucent/slightly brown, add free tomato and mix 
	•	Add a lot of salt
	•	Cover and let cook for 5 minutes, medium heat (tomatoes should lose structure)
	•	Blend fresh canned tomatoes (in can with immersion blender)
	•	Add in the newly puréed tomatoes 
	•	Add in jarred tomatoes
	•	Add in more salt and a ton of pepper
	•	Add in freeze dried basil
	•	Once fully simmering, start 25-40 minute timer (depending on size)
	⁃	Leave on low-medium heat
	⁃	Top should cover 3/4 of sauce
	⁃	Stir regularly
	⁃	If you want to evaporate water from sauce, remove top after 10 minutes. 
	⁃	Done when it's not strong tomato taste. May need to add another 10 minutes.
	•	Cut basil into strips (julienne) 
	•	Add fresh basil, salt, pepper. Cover. 
	•	Leave basil in sauce for 10 minutes before serving/refrigerating. 
	•	Done!

It all starts with the ingredients, so: 

Olive Oil:
	•	You should think of olive oil as produce (guy from Italy quoted in NYT). It's going to not be as good after 3-4 weeks, so I should buy small quantities regularly rather than a large quantity of especially good stuff. 
	•	It should also be consumed within 2 years of bottling, so you want the newest bottled possible. 
	•	Be liberal with its usage, it seems like it's a lot harder to over olive oil than it is to over salt. 
	•	Decided to up it to 1/2 cup instead of 1/3 and it came out great, based on what I'm reading I may even want to go a lot bigger (maybe up to 1.3 cups for my batch). Can experiment. 
	•	Experimented with a lot more and it's incredible.
	•	Lloyd Floyd also suggested I try using bacon grease in place of the olive oil one time and it was phenomenal, one of the best sauces I've made.  
Canned tomatoes:
	•	Mom likes Mutti, made my first batch with them and it came out great. 
	•	Should without a doubt not be on the largest setting. Became overwhelmed with pepper on certain bites, needs to be medium or most fine ground. 
Strained tomatoes: 
	•	Used Pomi for first batch and it came out great. 
	•	Didn't use freeze dried, just used a whole plant of fresh for first batch. Came out great, but I think the basil taste was barely there/subtle, which could have been better.