Forget jars of red sauce — homemade marinara is where it’s at. This tomato sauce takes 20 minutes to make and requires zero planning. If marinara doesn’t already have a spot in your stable of easy weeknight recipes, it will soon.
Pureed Tomatoes Versus Chunky Tomatoes
Puréed tomatoes might feel like the obvious choice here, but I recommend using whole peeled tomatoes for your marinara sauce. These break down into perfect sauciness in about 20 minutes, but still retain a little substance, which gives the sauce some body — something sauces made with purée can lack. I’ve also used diced raw tomatoes, but find that these generally don’t break down as easily or quickly; they’re fine to use if you don’t mind (or if you prefer!) a chunkier sauce.
If you are using canned tomatoes, then any canned tomatoes you have in your pantry can be used in a pinch, up to and including tomatoes that you’ve canned yourself. Avoid tomatoes that have flavourings or herbs added to them — your sauce will be a hundred times better if you add these things yourself.
If you are using regular tomatoes from the market/farm, then wash the tomatoes well. Score the tomatoes length wise and blanch them in boiling water for 7-8 mins. This will soften the skin and the tomatoes. Strain and peel off the skin and discard them. Cut the peeled tomatoes into chunks and use them in your sauce.
How to Use Homemade Marinara?
This marinara isn’t just for pasta, although that’s often its destination in my kitchen. You can also use this basic sauce for arrabbiata pasta, lasagna, top it on homemade pizza, etc. You can even give it a quick purée and make a pretty darn good bowl of tomato soup served with a side of toasted bread!
The main takeaway here is that marinara is an easy, versatile sauce. With a few cans of tomatoes in your cupboard, you’ll never need to buy jarred sauce again.
Makes approx 700 gms
1/2 kg fresh tomatoes, blanched, skin peeled, or canned tomatoes,
100 gms onions, finely diced,
8-10 cloves of garlic, finely chopped,
1 bay leaf,
1 tbsp chilli flakes,
1 tbsp mixed fresh herbs or mixed dried herbs (rosemary, thyme, basil, oregano)
Salt as per taste
1/4 th cup extra virgin olive oil,
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottom pan. Add the garlic and onion and saute in low flame until the onion turns translucent.
- Add in the tomatoes and their juices to the pan. Crush the tomatoes in your hand as you add them, or smash them against the sides of the pan with your spatula. Alternatively, you can dice the tomatoes.
- Add the bay leaf, fresh herbs and chilli flakes.
- Add salt as per taste and simmer the sauce until the sauce is slightly reduced and thickened. This might take about 15 – 20 mins.
- Once cooked, allow to cool down completely before transferring into glass jars.
How To Store The Sauce
- Since we are not adding any preservative, this sauce will stay good in the refrigerator for upto 10 days.
- You can also freeze the sauce. If freezing, transfer to freezer safe bags into serving portions.
- To use frozen sauce, thaw the sauce completely by bringing it to room temperature before using.
Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #thefitdotme