Homemade marinara sauce

I have such passion for marinara sauce. I eat it with pasta of any shapes. I dunk some crusty herb bread in it. I can just go straight – eat it with a spoon. With all natural ingredients, it is very easy to make. Much easier to buy bottled marinara, but if I have an afternoon to kill, I would make a big batch that can last us a whole week. Then that week will be a marinara week.

Marinara Canape with Rosemary

Chopping the ingredients is hideous work. But can be mind soothing experience for me. I really like the ingredients to be perfectly cut and chopping alone can take 30 minutes. But never fails, at the end, I wish I had a good food processor.

I am using fresh tomatoes. Nothing beats fresh ingredients – I would pick the reddest ones. Stewing the tomatoes for an hour or more would bring out the brilliant red, even when I could only get the pale red tomatoes. But a quick trick if the color is still too pale, add a couple of spoonfuls bottled tomato sauce or canned tomato paste. That would brighten up the sauce greatly.


Homemade Marinara Sauce

Makes 5 cups


1 kg tomatoes (7 medium size)
1 stalk celery, chopped finely
1 onion, chopped finely
1 carrot, chopped finely
6 garlic cloves, chopped finely
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 tablespoon salt
1/4 tablespoon ground black pepper


In a medium cooking pot, boil a pot of water. Wash tomatoes thoroughly and cook them whole in boiling water. Reduce heat to simmer after 30 minutes. Cook for an hour. Get rid of the skin, remove the tomatoes and reserve the cooking water

Heat olive oil in a non-stainless steel cooking pan. Throw in chopped onion and garlic. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add chopped celery and carrot, cook for another 10 to 15 minutes or till the ingredients are all soft

Add tomatoes and bay leaf, reduce heat to a simmer. cook for an hour. If the sauce is bubbling too hard, it means the heat is still too high. Cook till the sauce is thicken, if it is too thick, add some water from the stew

Remove from heat and throw away the bay leaf. Serve with pasta or slather some on toasts

I usually use this as a base recipe. Sometimes I would add pinch of herbs such as oregano, basil or rosemary. This recipe is adapted from Giada de Laurentiis' marinara sauce.

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12 Responses to “Homemade Marinara Sauce”

  1. 1

    Joanne — May 15, 2010 @ 7:14 pm

    I have to admit, I have been known to eat marinara sauce with a spoon as well. This looks delicious!

  2. 2

    Memoria — May 17, 2010 @ 1:45 am

    I love how chunky this marinara sauce! It looks absolutely perfect.

    • Jun replied: — May 25th, 2010 @ 5:45 am

      Thank you for the comment! You take great food photos. Everything looks wonderful!

  3. 3

    Alice — May 21, 2010 @ 8:54 am

    This sauce is so bright in color and nutritious! Simply prefect to savour with the crackers!

    • Jun replied: — May 25th, 2010 @ 5:44 am

      Yes it really does!

  4. 4

    Alisa-foodista — May 24, 2010 @ 4:46 pm

    There are a lot of versions of this sauce floating on the web, but I’ve never met marinara that I didn’t like :) Great recipe, would love to try this real soon.

    • Jun replied: — May 25th, 2010 @ 5:43 am

      Thanks for the comment. Let me know how yours goes. Whenever I use fresh tomatoes, I have trouble getting those rich deep red colour. Sometimes I cheat by adding a couple of spoonful of Hunt’s tomato paste. :D

  5. 5

    Ricki — August 17, 2010 @ 4:53 pm

    Looks delicious… I am making it now.

    • Jun replied: — November 6th, 2010 @ 3:02 am

      It is that easy. Happy cooking!

  6. 6

    kathy — August 30, 2010 @ 2:11 am

    so you cook the tomatoes for an hour and a half….? this looks very good, im trying it tomorrow!

    • Jun replied: — November 6th, 2010 @ 3:03 am

      Good luck, Kathy!

  7. 7

    Homemade Marinara Sauce « Harvest Fare — April 22, 2012 @ 8:35 pm

    [...] Homemade Marinara Sauce (adapted from the blog Indochine Kitchen) [...]

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