How to Make Marinara Sauce

Marinara sauce is a classic Italian tomato sauce that is incredibly versatile and easy to make. Whether you want to use it as a base for pasta, as a pizza sauce, or as a dip for your breadsticks, homemade marinara sauce is a delicious addition to any meal. While you can easily buy marinara sauce at the store, making it from scratch allows you to control the flavors and customize it to your preferences. Here’s a simple recipe to help you make your own marinara sauce at home.

  1. Start by gathering the ingredients you’ll need: ripe tomatoes, garlic, onion, olive oil, dried herbs (such as basil, oregano, and thyme), sugar, salt, and pepper.
  2. Prepare the tomatoes: Bring a pot of water to a boil and drop the tomatoes into it for about 1 minute. Remove them using a slotted spoon and place them in a bowl of ice water. This will make it easier to peel off their skins.
  3. Peel and chop the tomatoes: Once the tomatoes are cool, peel off their skins and remove the cores. Chop the tomatoes into small pieces.
  4. Sauté the aromatics: Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add minced garlic and diced onion to the pan, and cook until they become fragrant and translucent.
  5. Add the tomatoes and seasonings: Add the chopped tomatoes to the saucepan, along with dried herbs, salt, and pepper. You can also add a pinch of sugar to balance the acidity of the tomatoes. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
  6. Simmer and blend: Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes. This will allow the flavors to meld together and the sauce to thicken slightly. If you prefer a smoother texture, you can use an immersion blender or a regular blender to puree the sauce.
  7. Adjust the seasonings: Taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings according to your preference. You can add more herbs, salt, pepper, or sugar if needed.
  8. Serve or store: Once the sauce is ready, you can use it immediately or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. It can also be frozen for longer storage.

Now you have a delicious homemade marinara sauce that you can enjoy with pasta, pizza, or any other dish that calls for a flavorful tomato sauce. Get creative and add your own twist by adding extra ingredients like red pepper flakes, Parmesan cheese, or fresh herbs. Experiment with different tomato varieties for a unique taste. With this simple recipe, you’ll never have to buy store-bought marinara sauce again!

Ingredients for Marinara Sauce

1. Tomatoes:

The main ingredient in marinara sauce is tomatoes. You can use either canned or fresh tomatoes, depending on your preference. If using fresh tomatoes, it is recommended to blanch them in boiling water for a minute and then plunge them into an ice bath before peeling and chopping them. This will help remove the skin easily. San Marzano tomatoes are especially favored for their sweet and less acidic flavor.

2. Olive Oil:

Olive oil is used to sauté the onions and garlic, giving the sauce a rich and aromatic base. It is recommended to use extra-virgin olive oil for its superior flavor.

3. Onions and Garlic:

3. Onions and Garlic:

Onions and garlic provide the savory and aromatic notes to the marinara sauce. They are typically minced or finely chopped and cooked in olive oil until translucent and fragrant.

4. Herbs and Spices:

4. Herbs and Spices:

Herbs and spices add depth of flavor to the marinara sauce. Common choices include dried or fresh basil, oregano, and thyme. You can also add a pinch of red pepper flakes for some heat, if desired.

5. Salt and Pepper:

Salt and pepper are used to season the marinara sauce to taste. It is recommended to season the sauce sparingly at the beginning and adjust the seasoning at the end, as the flavors develop during the cooking process.

6. Sugar:

A small amount of sugar can be added to balance the acidity of the tomatoes and enhance the overall flavor of the marinara sauce.

These ingredients, combined in the right proportions, create a delicious and authentic marinara sauce that can be used on pasta, as a pizza sauce, or as a base for other Italian dishes.


History and cultivation: Tomatoes are believed to have originated in the western region of South America and were first domesticated by indigenous peoples thousands of years ago. They were later introduced to Europe by Spanish explorers in the 16th century. Today, tomatoes are grown in various parts of the world, with China being the largest producer followed by India and the United States.

Nutritional benefits: Tomatoes are low in calories and high in important nutrients such as vitamin C, potassium, and lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. They are also a good source of dietary fiber. Consuming tomatoes has been associated with various health benefits, including reducing the risk of certain cancers and heart disease.

Common types of tomatoes:
Type Description
Beefsteak Large, meaty, and juicy tomatoes often used for slicing
Cherry Small and sweet tomatoes, often used in salads and as a garnish
Grape Oval-shaped and flavorful tomatoes, popular for snacking and roasting
Heirloom Historic and open-pollinated varieties known for their unique flavors
  • Tomatoes can be enjoyed raw, roasted, grilled, or used as an ingredient in various dishes such as salads, soups, sauces, and sandwiches.
  • When selecting tomatoes, look for ones that are firm, plump, and free of blemishes or bruises. They should also have a rich color and a sweet aroma.
  • Store tomatoes at room temperature, away from direct sunlight, and use them within a few days for optimal flavor.
  • Tomatoes can be preserved by canning or making them into sauces, pastes, or salsas for long-term storage.

In conclusion, tomatoes are a versatile and nutritious fruit that adds flavor and vibrancy to countless dishes. Whether as a salad ingredient, a sauce base, or a simple snack, tomatoes are a staple in many cuisines around the world.


When making marinara sauce, onions are often used as a base ingredient to enhance the flavor. They are usually diced or chopped finely and sautéed in oil or butter until they become translucent and slightly caramelized. The cooked onions provide a rich and savory taste to the sauce, balancing out the acidity of the tomatoes.

Here is a simple recipe for marinara sauce that includes onions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat.
  2. Add diced onions and sauté until translucent.
  3. Add minced garlic and cook for another minute.
  4. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, pepper, dried oregano, and dried basil.
  5. Simmer the sauce for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Adjust the seasoning and add fresh basil leaves if desired.
Ingredient Quantity
Onion 1 medium, diced
Olive oil 2 tablespoons
Garlic 2 cloves, minced
Crushed tomatoes 1 can (28 oz)
Tomato paste 2 tablespoons
Salt 1 teaspoon
Pepper 1/2 teaspoon
Dried oregano 1 teaspoon
Dried basil 1/2 teaspoon

With a few simple steps and the addition of onions, you can create a delicious marinara sauce that will elevate your pasta dishes or serve as a base for other Italian recipes. Don’t underestimate the power of this humble vegetable in adding depth and flavor to your cooking.

Add a comment