A fast and easy recipe for Marinara Sauce using fresh or canned tomatoes, with garlic, onions and oregano and basil cooked on the stovetop in under 30 minutes. Use this classic Marinara Sauce on pasta, pizza or meatballs.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup shallots or 1 cup onions, diced
- 4–6 garlic cloves
- pinch chili flakes (or up to 1/4 teaspoon for a nice kick)
- 2 pounds ripe tomatoes (or 28-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes- see notes)
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried oregano)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt,more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper, more to taste
- 8–10 basil leaves, torn
- optional: 1-2 tablespoons tomato paste, 1-2 teaspoons maple syrup or honey
Prep the tomatoes: If using fresh tomatoes, quarter them and blend in a blender. Alternatively, slice them in half and grate the flesh, leaving the skins behind.
Saute: In a saute pan, saute shallot or onion over medium heat, for just a few minutes until just tender and fragrant, add the garlic, saute 1-2 minutes. Add the chili flakes and stir for one minute. Add the oregano, and give a stir. Add the tomatoes and all their juices. (If using canned tomatoes, break them apart with a metal spatula as best you can and add all the juice from the can-then add one cup of water rinsing out the can. ) Stir in the salt and pepper.
Simmer: Bring to a simmer, uncovered, and simmer gently 8-10 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until sauce begins to reduce and thicken. Reduce by one cup ( so you’ll end up with 3 cups). If you used the canned whole tomatoes, feel free to blend with an immersion blender.
Stir in the torn basil leaves. Taste, adjust salt, pepper and chili flakes, adding more if you like. If your sauce lacks sweetness, stir in some tomato paste and/or maple syrup. If your sauce seems watery, just continue to cook it gently uncovered for a few more minutes. If it gets too thick add a splash of water, or if too sweet, balance it with a few drops of vinegar.
Use on pasta or spaghetti or on meatballs. To use as a pizza sauce, cook it down just a few more minutes, to thicken a little more if you like. 😉
The sauce will keep 4 days in the fridge- or can be frozen. If freezing the sauce in a mason jar, leave 1-inch headroom for expansion.
If your fresh tomatoes are acidic, a reader suggested adding finely diced carrots along with the onions to help sweeten the sauce naturally. Love this idea!
Keywords: Marinara Sauce Recipe, easy marinara sauce, quick marinara sauce