Hands-down the most versatile sauce in my kitchen – this simple Marinara sauce is ready in 30 minutes! If you are still not a fan of this Italian sauce, give this one a try!
(*This post contains some affiliate links)
Before we start with this recipe, let us clear one thing first. Let’s settle the difference between these two.
MARINARA SAUCE vs. TOMATO SAUCE
Marinara sauce is made of tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, peperoncino and some herbs – and it does NOT take hours to make.
Tomato sauce, on the other hand, you normally add carrots and celery for the base flavor, and you need to simmer it for a long time to get a thick and rich consistency.
HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE MARINARA SAUCE
CAN I USE FRESH TOMATOES TO MAKE THIS SIMPLE ITALIAN SAUCE?
I honestly have not tried that because fresh tomatoes in Stockholm are not that good – even when they are in season.
In addition, I’m quite happy with the result using canned tomatoes.
If I cannot find crushed tomatoes, I have no problem using whole tomatoes in can. But I make sure I drain them first before crushing them with my hands, and then adding them into the pan.
HELPFUL TIPS –
- You can add sugar if you feel the sauce is a bit sour for your taste. Some of my friends prefer to prepare their marinara sauce this way.
- Alternatively, do what my mother-in-law does — add a tiny amount of milk instead of sugar.
- Use oregano as a substitute for basil, and it is completely normal to use the dried ones.
HOW TO USE A HOMEMADE MARINARA SAUCE
Mix it with your favorite type of pasta, add some freshly grated parmigano reggiano – and you’re good to go!
You can also use it on your pizza, or make it your ‘go-to‘ dipping sauce. 🙂
FOR MORE IDEAS ON HOW TO USE MARINARA SAUCE, CHECK OUT THESE POSTS —
- Baked Potato and Zucchini Bites
- Italian Bread & Cheese Dumplings
- Neapolitan Meatloaf
- Mini Meatballs (Polpettine di Carne)
How to Make Marinara Sauce
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced finely (or into small bits)
- 3 cups crushed tomatoes, about 2 cans
- salt and pepper, to season
- dash peperoncino (chili flakes)
- 1 bay leaf, dried
- handful fresh basil leaves
- Warm up olive oil in a medium sized pan.
- Once oil is ready, add garlic.
- Cook garlic until it becomes fragrant.
- Add crushed tomatoes, salt, ground black pepper and peperoncino.
- Mix to combine.
- Add bay leaf and basil. Mix.
- Cover pan with a lid and bring to a boil.
- Lower the heat and simmer for at least 20 minutes.
- Taste and adjust seasoning by adding salt, pepper or more pepperoncino, while simmering.
- You can use sugar or milk to balance out the flavour of the sauce.
- Feel free to substitute oregano for basil.