I'm making marinara sauce with crushed tomatoes, and no matter how much seasoning I add or however long I cook it down, the smell of raw tomato is still in the sauce. Does anyone know how to get rid of that smell? I don't smell it in the sauces I buy at the store.
Do you use tomato paste in your sauce as well? Starting your sauce by cooking tomato paste down (by itself) will give the sauce a more "cooked" smell because the sugars in the paste will begin to caramelize.
This guy references the technique. I picked it up from Mario Batali, but I can't find a reference for it. http://forums.egullet.org/topic/140049-frying-tomato-paste/
Marinara is traditionally the fishermen's meal (the mariners hence the name). The simplicity and speed of making is part of the tradition.
The main difference in the sauce is parsly instead of basil. It changes from region to region, but here is a typical setup:
Chop the tomatoes and garlic finely. Place it in a hot sauce pan or medium pot over high heat for 5-8 minutes. You should see the sauce getting glossy. Add the chopped parsly near the end and you can add some extra virgin olive oil after you're finished heating the sauce. At this point you sprinkle some dried pepper and oregano.
You can use a blender in the beginning to blend the tomatoes if you like. Or a food mill at the to catch the skin and seeds.
I suspect the issue you're experiencing is related to the burner not being high enough. Many of the southern recipes call for fierce heat for short time.
The method above is also present in Maxine Clark's book.
if you want to be sure there is no trace of "fresh" tomato smell, you could start with tomato paste instead of raw tomato.