How to Make the Perfect Marinara Sauce
Marinara sauce is one of the hallmarks of Italian cuisine. It’s also the most common sauce to top pasta. Do you want to know what makes a marinara sauce even better? It is incredibly easy to make yourself. When making the perfect marinara, you want to highlight all the ingredients. Follow our steps as we walk you through the process of creating your own delicious sauce in no time.
What Exactly is Marinara Sauce
Marinara sauce is a tomato-based red sauce with various spices. Historians believe the sauce originated in Italy when the “mariners” returned home with a new fruit to show off, the tomato. Marinara sauce typically uses crushed tomatoes, olive oil, basil and garlic as main ingredients.
Choosing the Tomatoes
Believe it or not, one of the most significant variables in creating your marinara sauce involves the type of tomatoes used. If you are looking for a thicker sauce, choose whole-peeled tomatoes to provide the tomato-base. While these are chunky straight out of the can, the majority of the tomato breaks down and purees nicely in the sauce, while some bigger tomato pieces provide a thickness. Alternatively, if you want a smoother marinara sauce, then choose tomato paste or pureed tomatoes to better suit your recipe.
DIY Marinara Sauce
Making your own marinara sauce is easy, especially compared to the more labor-intensive cream sauces. The first step is usually to sauté any onions or garlic, only if you plan to add those ingredients. Next, add the tomatoes. As previously mentioned, many recipes call for crushing them in your hand as you add them to the saucepan as this helps break down the tomatoes. However, you can skip this step if you are using tomato paste. After the adding the tomatoes, mix in the herbs such as basil or bay leaves. The sauce then needs to simmer for at least 20 minutes, which allows for thickening.
Recipes to Get Started
There are hundreds of marinara sauce recipes out there to try, and we have compiled a few basic ones to help you get started. If you are looking for a thicker sauce using whole-peeled tomatoes, try this under-30 minute recipe from The Kitchn. Additionally, if you are really in a time crunch, this 10-minute marinara recipe requires minimal preparation.