How to make Marinara Sauce | The Classic Italian Red Sauce for Pasta, Pizza & More
Recipe type: Condiment
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3 cups
  • Tomatoes – 1 kg [You can replace this with canned tomatoes (chopped or whole) and skip the blanching process. Start directly from step 6]
  • Onion – 1, medium, chopped finely
  • Garlic – 4 to 5 cloves, minced
  • Italian seasoning – 1 tsp
  • Paprika – 1 tsp
  • Sugar – 1 tsp
  • Olive oil – 2 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 large bowl full of ice cubes and water
  • Tomato paste or puree (store-bought) - ¼ cup (optional)
  1. Boil a large pot of salted water. Keep a large bowl with water and lots of ice cube in it.
  2. Wash the tomatoes and make a crisscross cut (which looks like ‘X’) at the bottom of each. This will ensure easy peel off later.
  3. Drop the tomatoes into the boiling water and black them for 3 to 4 minutes. You will see that the skin has started to split at the cut edges.
  4. Fish out the blanched tomatoes using a slotted spoon and plunge them immediately into the ice water.
  5. When the tomatoes cool down, take them out and discard the water. Peel the skin off and remove the core of the stem. Chop the tomatoes roughly. You can discard even the seeds if there are too many.
  6. Heat a large pot (preferably a Dutch oven) and add the olive oil. Once the oil becomes warm, add the chopped onion and sauté until soft for about 6 to 8 minutes. You don’t need to brown them.
  7. Next add the minced garlic and sauté for half a minute until fragrant.
  8. Now add the chopped blanched tomatoes along with all the juices to the pot and bring them to boil over high heat.
  9. Add the sugar, salt, paprika and Italian seasoning and mix well. If you don’t have Italian seasoning, you can add ½ teaspoon each of dried oregano, dried parsley and dried basil.
  10. Add the tomato paste/puree if using at this point. I used the store bought puree as it adds a deep red color but this is totally optional!
  11. After the sauce starts to boil over high heat, lower the heat to minimum and let it simmer for about 30 minutes or until the sauce is reduced and thickened. As the sauce thickens, it starts to splatter a lot; so make sure to maintain a safe distance to avoid burning.
  12. If you want a smooth sauce, you can blend the sauce right in the cooking pot using a immersion blender. If you want a chunky sauce, then skip the blending step and let the tomatoes break on its own as they cook.
  13. Check and adjust the seasoning if necessary. When the sauce comes to your desired consistency, remove from heat and let it cool.
  14. Once completely cooled, put them in sterilized jars and refrigerate them. Use this delicious sauce with pastas, pizzas and more.
  15. Use up the marinara sauce within 7 days if refrigerated or you can freeze them for longer shelf life. Enjoy!
Recipe by Flavor Quotient at