Sungold Orange Marinara

sungold, pear & cherry tomatoes

We all enjoy regular red tomato marinara. If you have plenty of late summer, sungold tomatoes, how about making a beautiful orange marinara! As I have mentioned before, I’ve received a steady supply of tomatoes from my friend, Heidi, this summer. She has given me tomatoes in almost every size and form. I also have some growing in our own edible garden. Lately they have been the most amazing sungold tomatoes, and I had finally eaten my fill of them in salads. It forced me use them in a slightly non-traditional way, and the results were fabulous!

baked shells with sungold orange marinara

Orange sungold tomatoes taste like candy, giving a natural sweetness to pasta sauce that we all like! Balanced with herbs, they made a beautiful marinara. Here is my simple recipe for Sungold Orange Marinara which I used for my stuffed shells, along with some nutrition information on tomatoes. Enjoy the last of the season!

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While you enjoy the last of this summer’s tomatoes, try this simple marinara. Your family and friends will love it! I used beautiful sungold and other light-colored tomatoes I had received from a friend’s garden to naturally sweeten my orange marinara.

Tomatoes are great source of potassium, iron, fiber, vitamins B and C, and most of all lycopene! They great for your eyes and help prevent macular degenerative diseases.

It is lycopene that gives tomatoes a bright orange to red color, so the more color, the more lycopene. Lycopene has been proven to reduce the risk of heart disease and help prevent a variety of cancers. Lycopene is more digestible from cooked tomatoes, so with sungolds like I use here, you will benefit a little more by eating them in marinara than you would by eating them raw in a salad. This is because lycopene is a fat soluble, so cooking them with oil or cheese makes them better absorbed by your body.

Sungold is an heirloom tomato variety most widely grown by organic farmers. This time of year you are likely to find organic sungolds in local markets, so you can support local farms, too. This sweet sauce is a real crowd pleaser, so enjoy!

I used:
1 pint crushed sungold and other light colored tomatoes
2-3 cloves minced garlic
1 small chopped onion
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon crushed dried oregano
1 teaspoon crushed dried basil
5 leaves freshly chopped basil
freshly ground salt & pepper to taste
1 teaspoon sugar (only if the tomatoes are not quite sweet enough)

My method:
1. Crush the tomatoes in food processors, so they are not totally puréed.
2. Over medium heat, sauté the onion, garlic, and bay leaves in the oil.
3. When the onions are translucent (do not let the garlic burn!), add the tomatoes and the dried herbs, salt, and pepper, and stir.
4. Let the sauce cook for about 15-20 minutes, till it comes to a simmer, and keep stirring in the meantime.
5. When finished, the sauce will have thickened slightly as the water from the tomatoes has boiled off. Take the sauce off the heat, then add the fresh basil.
6. Use it right away; or for later use, let it cool first, then store in a airtight jar and refrigerate.