Marinara Sauce is basic and classic tomato sauce used in various Italian recipes like spaghetti, pasta, pizza or meat balls. Its basically made with juicy tomatoes simmered with onion, garlic and flavored with herbs like basil, oregano. It can customized to our tastes by adding Indian spices like red chilly, coriander leaves, garam masala etc.
Prepare it on weekend and store a batch in refrigerator for quick meals on weekdays. Simply boil your favorite pasta and add to the sauce and simmer for 2 mins and viola!! (Check this recipe for spaghetti with shrimp). Add Parmesan or Mozzarella cheese to finish off the recipe for extra Italian flavor. Make the famous Spaghetti Bolognese by sauteing minced meat and add marinara sauce along with cooked spaghetti.
Here I have used capsicum and celery to give more chunkiness to the sauce. You can also use carrots or olives etc. I have peeled the tomatoes by boiling them for a minute and gave light pulses in my blender for that chunky and juicy texture.
Homemade Marinara Sauce
Tomatoes : 10 , Large
Onion: 1, medium size, chopped
Garlic: 3-4 , minced
Celery: 2 stacks, sliced
Capsicum: 1 small, chopped
Salt: 2 tsp (according to taste)
Pepper: 2 tsp
Brown Sugar: 2 tbsp (according to taste)
Tomato Ketchup: 1 tbsp (optional)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: 2 tbsp
Basil Leaves: 1/4 cup
Parsley: 1 tbsp, chopped
Red Chilly Flakes: 1 tsp
- Clean tomatoes and get rid of eye of the tomato and make a criss-cross cut on the top. Drop them in pot of boiling water for minute or two. When you see the skin of tomatoes coming off, drain water and transfer to cool water pot to stop the process of cooking.
- Peel off the skin and dice it to small pieces reserving the juices or simply give short pulses in the blender
- Heat olive oil in large skillet to medium heat and add onion and garlic and saute for 3-4 minutes until onions caramelize. You should not brown it
- Add capsicum and celery and saute for another 2 minutes
- Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, chilly and sugar and few basil leaves and bring to boil
- Simmer it for 20-25 mins covering the skillet until it the sauce thickens and raw smell goes off
- Add tomato ketchup for extra tanginess and cook for 2-3 mins or until the sauce thickens (Add this stage after cooling down you can blend the sauce if you want more creamier sauce or simply blend it with hand blender in the pot)
- Add remaining basil leaves and parsley (Herbs should always be added at the end to preserve the flavor) and switch off the flame
- You can use canned tomatoes instead of fresh ones. Use Italian crushed tomatoes (24-ounces)
- Feel free to add Indian spices like red chilly flakes, dried fenugreek leaves, garam masala or coriander leaves
- You can substitute carrots, olives, bell-peppers for celery to add chunkiness
- You can used dried basil leaves or parsley if you don’t find the fresh ones
- Sauce can be refridgerated for 7-10 days in airtight containers or jars