Marinara sauce is a simple tomato sauce with just a few additional ingredients for flavor. Today, we make this Italian sauce with fresh tomatoes in under one hour. I also show you my cool trick to getting a nice deep red color on homemade tomato sauce.
Mark an X with a knife on the bottom of the tomatoes and put them in hot water for 3 to 5 minutes.Pro tip - the cut on the tomato will cause the skin to open making it easier to peel.
Take them out with a slotted spoon and put them in cold water. Drain and cool the tomatoes until barely warm.Pro tip - shocking the tomatoes from hot to cold water will separate the skin from the tomato making it easy to peel
Peel the skin with the edge of your knife. Deseed them using this easy method shown in the video.Pro tip - follow the cut we made and peel the tomatoes then open the tomato and let the seed fall off.
Place the seeds in a colander so you can gather all the juices.Pro tip - the tomato juices have a lot of flavors so don't throw them away. Get as much of the juice around the seeds by pressing down on the seeds
Pulse the tomato pulp and juices in the bowl or food processor until smooth. Pro tip- The puree can be frozen for up to 3 months. A good method to store tomatoes when they are in season
In a Dutch oven or heavy bottom saute pan, add oil, garlic, chilly flakes, and onions. Saute until onions are translucent.Pro tip - I like to cook the onions until they get a little caramelized. The flavor is amazing
Then, add the dried herbs, oregano, thyme, and rosemary.
Followed by brown sugar. Saute for 2 minutes until the sugar caramelizes Pro tip - This is the secret to the deep color in this sauce. Caramelizing the sugar will deepen the color of our sauce
Next, add the prepared tomatoes. Season with salt, pepper and add the basil leaves.Pro tip - I like to add the whole sprigs of basil in there so I can take it off easily (my kids don't mind the flavor but they do mind the leaves)
Bring to a boil then lower the heat and simmer on medium-low for 30 minutes to an hour or until the sauce is thicker and you see some oil on the surface of the sauce. (looks shiny) The sauce will thicken and deepen as it cools.Pro tip - the longer you cook the more concentrated the flavor of your tomato sauce. I like to cook mine for at least an hour.
Serve over pasta or use in any recipe that calls for marinara sauce.
The main purpose of the brown sugar here is to caramelize it so it adds a touch of brown to the red. Do you know what happens to red when you add a touch of brown? It deepens the red. We are using the same principle here. Just add a dash of brown to the red, which is why we want to make sure we just caramelize it not burn it.
Use a deep Dutch oven or heavy bottom saute pan to prevent sticking and splattering.
If you want a chunkier marinara sauce, don't blend the tomatoes - crush them with your hands or a potato masher
If you don't want to use fresh tomatoes use my recipe for marinara sauce in 20 minutes using canned tomatoes
If the tomato sauce is too thick - add a little water to bring it back to consistency.
What can you do with this marinara sauce?
Pasta sauce - Simmer 2 cups marina sauce, add ¼ cup cream, ¼ cup Parmesan sauce, and fresh basil - serve over boiled pasta.
Quick pizza sauce - If you thicken the marinara sauce it works perfectly as a pizza sauce. Add some topping and some cheese before baking. See all my pizza recipes here.
Mushroom Pasta - Saute 1 lb mushrooms, then add 2 cup marinara sauce, ½ cup Parmesan cheese, and some fresh basil. Add 1 lb boiled pasta.
Quick spaghetti bolognese - brown 1 lbs ground beef, add 2 cups marinara sauce, ½ cup Parmesan cheese, ¼ cup fresh cream, and fresh basil. Serve over boiled spaghetti pasta.
The nutrition information and metric conversion are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee its accuracy. If this data is important to you please verify with your trusted nutrition calculator. Thank you