How to make Marinara Sauce

Marinara Sauce

Making marinara sauce from scratch? Marinara (mariner’s) sauce is a southern Italian tomato sauce usually made with tomatoes, garlic, herbs (such as basil), and onion. Italians refer to marinara only in association with other recipes. For instance, spaghetti alla marinara literally translates to mariner’s spaghetti.

However, tomato sauce alone in Italy is called salsa al pomodoro or pummarola.

Recipe for Marinara Sauce


  • 6 tablespoons virgin olive oil
  • 225 grams (8 ounces) Spanish onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (or one half teaspoon dried)
  • 4 teaspoons fresh basil leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 85 grams (3 ounces) red bell pepper, diced
  • 1.3 kilograms (1 pound and 14 ounces) skinless plum tomato, crushed by hand
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Salt to taste


  1. Heat oil in a sauce pan until it shimmers.
  2. Saute onions and garlic over medium heat for about 2 minutes until onions are translucent.
  3. Add the thyme, basil and bell pepper.
  4. Cook five minutes more.
  5. Add the tomatoes and sugar.
  6. Bring to a boil and then lower to a light simmer, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes.
  7. Season with salt to taste.
  8. Serve hot by ladling over pasta, seafood or rice.
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  1. Singapore Local Favourites

    This is a simple marinara sauce, good over any pasta or on lasagna!