Marinara Sauce

A lot of confusion seems to surround the understanding of ‘Marinara Sauces’, especially outside of Italy.  One thing’s for sure – it DOESN’T contain any fish or seafood.  One commonly held school of thought is that it was a simple sauce cooked on the boats by Neapolitan mariners.  This can be considered as the mother of all sauces – you can use it with just about any Italian dish, either as it is, or as a base for an enhanced sauce, such as puttanesca, or as an addition instead of something like Tomato Puree.  Use good quality tinned tomatoes, or make up loads when you’ve got a good supply of fresh tomatoes (traditionally you should be using San Marzano tomatoes from the slopes of Vesuvius).  It freezes really well

Makes about 1 ltr of sauce


  • 3 tins of good quality tinned tomatoes
  • 8 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 4-6 tbsp Olive Oil
  •  handful of fresh Oregano leaves, or 1 tsp dried Oregano
  • Salt & Sugar to taste
  • Black Pepper
  • handful of basil leaves, crushed & chopped


  • Using a hand blender, blitz the tomatoes until smooth
  • Heat the oil and gently fry off the garlic for 30 seconds – do not burn!
  • Add the tomatoes and oregano to the garlic and stir well.  Bring to the boil and simmer gently for around 30 minutes
  • Stir periodically the prevent the sauce from catching, and check the sauce for seasoning
  • Depending upon the tomatoes, you may need to add salt and/or sugar to taste
  • After around 25-30 minutes, the sauce should be thick, but still a pouring consistency.  Stir in the basil and take off the heat
  • The sauce will keep for several days in the fridge, or freeze in batches.  Add to pasta dishes as required or use as a topping for Marinara Pizza!

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