Our Favorite Ways To Use Pasta Sauce:
This recipe is so versatile. Use it for any recipe that calls for Marinara Sauce.
- Stuffed Chicken Parmesan Youll love what we put inside
- Lasagna Homemade marinara makes the absolute best lasagna
- Juicy Meatball Recipe meatballs smothered in marinara are perfect for meatball subs
- Spaghetti Meat Sauce Add ground beef to this homemade marinara for an easy dinner
- Lasagna Roll-Ups youll love the simplicity of making and serving these
How To Make Basic Marinara Sauce
- Start with a small saucepan over low-medium heat, sweat the diced onions for about 4 minutes. Keeping the heat at medium-low is crucial so the onions release their sweet juice without burning. You can add olive oil here for extra flavor, but its not necessary.
- Next, add garlic.
- Cook until garlic is lightly golden brown, about 4 more minutes.
- Then add crushed tomatoes, stir well to combine, and simmer on low for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Youll have beautiful vibrant homemade marinara sauce that yields about two cups
More About This Recipe
- Using Tomato PasteGrowing up, I could always find petite cans of tomato paste in my grandmother’s cupboard. She would use it in sauces and stews. These days, you can always find a couple cans of paste in my cupboard as well. This versatile ingredient is a great go-to for fast meals.What is Tomato Paste?Tomato paste is a highly concentrated puree of tomatoes. It’s made by cooking peeled, seeded tomatoes for several hours, thereby cooking out much of the liquid. It offers a high concentrate of tomato flavor in a thick, compact form.It can be purchased premade in cans or tubes, or made at home and frozen for future use. A good recipe can be found in Preserving Summer’s Bounty.What Can Tomato Paste Be Used For?Tomato paste is a great ingredient for adding tomato flavor to a variety of dishes, from sauces to soups. It’s a very thick and thus should be combined with water to cook with. This loosens it into a sauce.One fabulous use for tomato paste is to use it to make a fast marinara sauce, such as my Easy, Fast Tomato Marinara. This sauce is perfect with pasta, ravioli and more. Use it on chicken parmigiana or for dipping mozzarella sticks, as well. It makes a smooth sauce, which is perferrable for some people. You can also add some chunkiness to it by combining a can of diced tomatoes and a can of tomato paste in a pan with seasonings. Bring to a boil, simmer and serve.More Tomato Paste RecipesLooking for more great ideas for tomato paste? Try these:Fresh Tomato Soup
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You Only Need 6 Simple Marinara Sauce Ingredients So Make Em Count
While you might think that the best marinara sauce would be made from fresh tomatoes our marinara recipe calls for canned because theyre reliably good, easy to keep on hand, and using canned tomatoes means you can make this sauce anytime you want! Plus, canned tomatoes are picked and preserved at the very peak of their ripeness, so theyre sweet and acidic and all of the good things that we want the tomatoes for our marinara to be. Here are the ingredients youll need to make this easy pasta sauce:
Extra virgin olive oil. Homemade marinara sauce is one of the few examples of a recipe where, even though the oil is cooked, you want to use good-quality extra virgin olive oil. Because the sauce only cooks for about 20 minutes, and because it calls for quite a lot of oil, the flavor of the olive oil really defines this simple sauce.
Fresh garlic. And lots of it!
Canned, crushed tomatoes. Use a good-quality canned, crushed tomatotheres a lot of variation brand-to-brand, and in a recipe like this where the tomatoes are thes star, quality really matters. While were usually big fans of the fire-roasted varieties, marinara sauce is not the place for those. Just get a big can of classic, plain, crushed tomatoes.
Dry herbs. Either Italian seasoning or a blend of dry thyme and oregano.
Is Marinara Sauce The Same As Pizza Sauce
It isnt technically the same as pizza sauce, though you can certainly use it as such. I cant count the number of times Ive made my pizza recipe with this exact sauce and some mozzarella. However, there are some differences.
While this sauce spends some time simmering on the stove, this step is not required for making pizza sauce. While I find that cooking/simmering the sauce really helps to develop the flavors, it also will diminish that distinct fresh tomato taste .
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Magical Flavor Secrets Of This Quick Easy Marinara Sauce
The ingredient list for this recipe is short, but each one is what I call a “magical flavor booster”. Keep these ingredients stocked in your pantry and freezer and you can make this Quick and Easy Marinara Sauce in no time flat.
The recipe starts with pesto, which can add fabulous flavor to so many dishes. I keep jars of pesto in my freezer, either homemade or a good store-bought product. If I don’t have the time, energy, or resources to make my own, I really like the pesto from both Costco and Sam’s Club. They’re reasonably priced, come in a large jar and have a beautiful, fresh green hue. I freeze it, either in small portions or leave it in the large jar, and let it thaw slightly before scooping out what I need, then return it to the freezer.
Pesto has lots of garlic which eliminates the need to peel and mince the cloves so, in addition to being a flavor booster, it’s a great time saver. It’s also loaded with fresh basil and a nice portion of both olive oil and parmesan cheese, which give a great flavor base to dishes like this quick and easy marinara. For this recipe, I sauted the pesto in a bit of olive oil to soften the raw garlic taste and enhance the flavor.
In addition to the pesto, there’s dry Italian seasoning in this recipe. Although I’m a huge fan of fresh herbs, I think a combination of dried herbs like Italian seasoning is an easy way to add an additional layer of flavor.
How To Use Homemade Marinara
This marinara isnt just for pasta, although thats often its destination in my kitchen. You can also use this basic sauce for pasta casseroles like lasagna, to top homemade pizza, or to serve with roasted meat. You can even give it a quick purée and make a pretty darn good bowl of tomato soup!
The main takeaway here is that marinara is an easy, versatile sauce. With a few cans of tomatoes in your cupboard, youll never need to buy jarred sauce again.
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A Few Notes About The 30
Simmer so it bubbles. A rapid simmer with a few bobbling bubbles is what youre looking for.
The oil will separate. As the sauce cooks, the olive oil will separate from the tomato mixture. Dont be too concerned about the separation. The flavor is infusing and melting into the tomatoes as they cook down. Stir or whisk to emulsify.
Fish out the garlic cloves and basil stemsor leave them in. Once the sauce is finished cooking, the garlic cloves will have become soft and jammy and done their job. Consider smashing them more to incorporate into the sauce or fishing them out and discarding.
Balance the flavor with more salt or a pinch of sugar. Take the taste test. If needed, add more salt to bring out more tomato flavor, or add a pinch or two of sugar to balance the acidic flavor.
Surprise The Best Marinara Sauce Recipe Is One That Comes Together Quickly
You know we love to keep jarred marinara in the pantry. Without it, many of our favorite 10-minute dinner recipes would not be possible. But when were craving a bowl of pasta with marinara sauce, we actually prefer to make the sauce from scratch. Quickstart to finish, this sauce only takes about 30 minutesand oh, so deeply flavored, our homemade marinara sauce recipe is one of those simple recipes that can really make a person feel accomplished in the kitchen because it is just so darn restaurant-quality. Theres no real trick to it, no real secretjust a few classic Italian ingredients and about 20 minutes on the stove, and youve got yourself a simple supper that really satisfies. Plus! This marinara sauce can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for at least a few days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
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Making Marinara Dipping Sauce
I think the most important part of the dipping sauce is to start with a good brand of tomato sauce. If you buy generic tomato sauce, the force may not be with you and I cannot say whether your sauce will be perfect and delicious.
As far as flavoring the sauce, I use a technique I learned from Chef Anne Burrell on the Food Network. She loves to flavor her olive oil with ingredients by sautéing them and then discarding them .
Thats what I do here so I get the delicious flavor of fresh garlic without all the chunks. Then, I simply stir in some dried herbs and a bit of salt and a short simmer later, the sauce is perfect. Smooth and delicious and everything Ive always dreamed of in a dipping sauce.
Can I Substitute Fresh Tomatoes
Fresh tomatoes would essentially have to be turned into crushed tomatoes with the added steps of blanching and peeling the tomatoes then simmering them down to the correct consistency which will really increase the time for making homemade marinara.
If youre looking for a marinara sauce with fresh tomatoes, make sure to check out our Mushroom Mariana Sauce.
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Homemade Marinara Sauce From Scratch
Delicious Authentic Italian Marinara Sauce from scratch that is so easy, youll never need to buy a jar of Marinara Sauce again! Just like my Nana used to make! Whether you want to make homemade marinara sauce from fresh tomatoes or canned, weve got you covered!
What is Marinara Sauce? In simple terms, traditional Marinara Sauce, one of the quintessential sauces of Italian cuisine, is Tomato Sauce, or what Americans sometimes call Spaghetti Sauce, and Italian-Americans sometimes call gravy. This is what my family called it when I was a kid. Well, my moms side of the family, anywaythe ones who actually made Authentic Italian Marinara Sauce. However, it wasnt that simple, sometimes gravy meant the traditional sauce from Emilia-Romagna, which of course, is Bolognese Sauce.
Homemade Authentic Italian Marinara Sauce from scratch.
Italian food, and particularly marinara sauce from scratch, is near and dear to my heart. I was raised on homemade Italian spaghetti sauce and all sorts of traditional Italian dishes. And I still have a hard time going to an Italian restaurant because my Nana made the best Italian marinara sauce !
I remember being quite surprised that Authentic Italian Marinara Sauce is actually quite quick and easy to make, and requires just a few ingredients. Growing up there was always a mystery behind Nanas scratch marinara sauce, and the one thing I knew early on as a little girl, was that we would never ever have store-bought marinara sauce!
Whats The Difference Between Marinara Sauce And Spaghetti Sauce
Spaghetti sauce and marinara sauce are often used like synonyms but they arent exactly the same . Though they are both tomato based sauces, marinara sauce is a meatless sauce that is slow-simmered and made with tomatoes, garlic, and herbs. Traditional spaghetti sauce is basically a more complex version of marina sauce that has additional spices and is often made with meat and cut up vegetables.
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Super Simple Marinara Sauce
Meet the marinara sauce recipe of my dreams! Ive always been intimidated by marinara, maybe because I love it so much that I was afraid of messing it up. I finally faced my fears and tried making marinara every which way. This version is my favorite, no contest.
This homemade marinara sauce offers rich and lively tomato flavor. Youll need only five basic pantry ingredients to make this delicious marinara sauce: good canned tomatoes, onion, garlic, dried oregano and olive oil. Thats it!
This marinara is exceptionally easy to make, too, so its perfect for busy weeknights. You dont even have to chop the onion and garlic. Yep, thats rightjust crank open a can of tomatoes, halve an onion and peel some garlic. Youre ready to go!
This sauce offers lovely, authentic Italian flavor after a 45-minute simmer. I tried to take shortcuts to make it even faster, but no amount of tomato paste, spices, salt or sugar will make up for lost time.
Bottom line: Its impossible to achieve enchanting, long-simmered marinara flavor in under 45 minutes. So throw those ingredients in a pot, pour yourself a glass of wine and boil water for pasta. Dinner is almost ready.
After trying many variations on marinara sauce, I adapted this recipe from Debs tomato sauce with onion and butter, which was originally sourced from Marcella Hazans 1992 cookbook, Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking.
Why Make Homemade Marinara
- 6 ingredients. Yep, just canned tomatoes, olive oil, fresh garlic, dried oregano and basil, sugar, and salt.
- Healthy. This homemade pasta is lower in sugar and sodium than what youll find at the store. Plus, we all know tomatoes are good for you :).
- Freezer-friendly. Store it for up to 4 months in the freezer.
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How To Make Marinara Sauce
You want to make sure that your sauce is a little thinner if it is being used as a pasta sauce, as opposed to a little thicker if you are using it on a pizza or as a dip.
To store your marinara sauce, it will last about 5-7 days in the fridge in an airtight container. Alternatively, you can freeze it in single serving sizes for up to a year, and just defrost as needed!
Why You Should Make Homemade Marinara Sauce From Scratch
Think about it how many jars of pasta sauce have you bought over the years? Yes, of course prepared sauce saves time. But dollar for dollar, its absolutely more economical to make a double batch of sauce from scratch. They will keep perfectly in the fridge and freezer!
Also, many brands of jarred marinara sauce are over-processed, and contain stuff you really dont want or need in your life, like excessive amounts of sugar, corn syrup and sodium.
Other unnecessary ingredients include soybean oil and natural flavors, whatever that means.
Ready to make your sauce? Lets keep things easy-peasy for this recipe.
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Heres What Youll Need To Make It
- Wooden spoon or rubber spatul
And, yes. We choose this meal over takeout all the time. I cant tell you the number of times Ive begged Marc to get takeout because I was tired, or lazy, or just didnt want to cook, and by the time we sit down to order it, I change my mind.
Because, you can literally have this meal on the table in half the amount of time for a fraction of the cost of that takeout. If you make a pound of pasta with this marinara sauce, you can actually feed a family of four for under five dollars. Five dollars. You can probably even stretch the sauce to cover 1.5 pounds of pasta if youre really hungry.
If youre feeling fancy or trying to impress someone, try adding fresh basil when you serve your pasta. Its a game changer, I promise. Or try it with some giant baked meatballs.
What Kind Of Canned Tomatoes To Use
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. Ive also used diced tomatoes, but find that these generally dont break down as easily or quickly theyre fine to use if you dont mind a chunkier sauce.
Really, any canned tomatoes you have in your pantry can be used in a pinch, up to and including tomatoes that youve canned yourself. Id only avoid tomatoes that have flavorings or herbs added to them your sauce will be a hundred times better if you add these things yourself.
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Infuse The Oil With Garlic
Flavor the oil with crushed garlic instead of minced. Flavoring the oil with smashed cloves of garlic infuses flavor with less chance of the garlic burning and becoming bitter, or overtaking the sauce with striking garlic-bit-bites.
As the garlic steeps in the oil and later cooks in the sauce, it becomes sweet and soft. The smaller bits will likely melt right into the tomato mixture. As for the bigger garlic chunks, fish them out of the sauce after cooking, or leave them in for sweet, jammy surprise bites.