Basic Marinara Sauce

This is just a basic version of the Marinara Sauce. This is a southern Italian sauce usually made with tomatoes, garlic, herbs and onions. The Italian cuisine uses this basic sauce to add flavor to its many dishes such as pasta, pizza, rice and other seafood / non vegetarian dishes.

According to Wikipedia,

Italians refer to marinara sauce only in association with other recipes. For instance, spaghetti alla marinara literally translates to “mariner’s wife spaghetti”, but tomato sauce alone in Italy is called salsa di pomodoro or pomarola.

I made an interesting fusion dish with this sauce. Honestly, I didn’t refer to any recipe except the Wikipedia entry. I have tasted Marinara before and was confident of putting together the recipe for a decent Marinara Sauce! πŸ˜‰ (If there’s any Italian reading this post, why don’t you let me know if I’ve lived upto your expectations? :))

P.S: I couldn’t find a can of crushed Italian tomatoes, so I just chopped tomatoes finely and crushed them with my hands! πŸ™‚ I like the skin so I didn’t bother taking them off.


Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 30 – 35 min
Makes: 2 cups


1 Onion, Chopped
2 Cloves Garlic,Β  Minced
1 tsp Olive Oil
8 medium tomatoes * refer note
few Fresh Basil Leaves
1 bay leaf (optional)
2 tsp oregano
1 1/2 Tbsp salt (adjust according to taste)
1 tsp ground black pepper
some water
Optional – 1 Tbsp tomato sauce

* note: If you can find a can of crushed tomatoes, use them. If not, you can do what I did >> Chop the tomatoes finely. Add them to a vessel and crush with your hands or use and heavy spoon or potato masher to crush it! πŸ™‚ It works too. You won’t be able to get out the seeds or skin, but that okay. Seeds & skin have nutrition! πŸ˜‰

OR: Blanch the tomatoes, remove skin & blitz roughly in the blender. I did the crushing by hand version


1. Heat oil in a big wok. Add onions & garlic.

2. SautΓ© until the onions and garlic are soft and translucent

3. Add the crushed tomatoes. (If using canned tomatoes then skip this. If using fresh tomatoes, add around 1/2 cup of water)

4. Mix well and let it cook for 5 minutes.

5. Add chopped basil and mix well.

6. Add bay leaf & oregano. Mix well.

7. Add salt & pepper and mix well

8. Close with a lid and let that cook for about 20 minutes on medium high heat. Remove the lid twice in between and stir well to make sure nothing sticks.

9. Open the lid, add tomato sauce and mix well. (optional)

10. Let that cook away (without closing with lid) for another 10 minutes.

Garnish with basil leaves and use as required! this shouldn’t be a very runny sauce. Enjoy this tangy goodness with a bowl of hot pasta! πŸ™‚

3 Replies to “Basic Marinara Sauce”

  1. i’m bookmarking this

  2. I too love home-made tomato sauce, and posted a recipe last week! If your blender or food processor is sufficiently powerful, you can leave the skins and seeds in and it will crush most of them so that you don’t notice it in the sauce.

  3. Very nice…homemade always feels fresh

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