Marinara sauce is a classic everyone should learn how to make. If you want to make your recipe standout, a little lemon zest will really make the flavors pop.
If you’re not familiar with the ingredient, zest is prepared by scraping off bits of citrus fruit peels like lemons, limes, and oranges. You can add it to all kinds of dishes for a burst of citrus-y flavor sans the acid. David Mawhiney, the Culinary Director and Executive Chef at Haven’s Kitchen, suggests you do the very same for your marinara pasta dish. The trick is that you don’t add it directly to the sauce. Kristen Miglore at Food52 explains:
Mawhinney tosses fresh pasta with butter and a fine dusting of lemon zest, then with a tomato sauce made from little more than coarsely grated roma tomatoes, simmered down to a marinara-like consistency… He finishes with Parmesan, tapping the same Microplane he used on the lemon.
If you add the zest to your batch of sauce directly, reheating it later will kill off the fragrance and flavor. Just zest the pasta, then add the sauce, and your marinara will have a whole new layer of depth to it.
Photo by ccharmon.