Fresh Tomato Marinara Sauce is a delicious 30-minute homemade tomato sauce that is bursting with rich tomato flavors with savory garlic and herbs.
If you are looking for a simple tomato sauce for pizza or spaghetti, marinara sauce is the way to go. I think most of us are pretty familiar with this sauce.
Then, I looked for homemade marinara sauce recipes online. I thought I would find them made from fresh tomatoes. No, most of them call for canned tomatoes, canned tomato paste, or those sodium-filled cans of tomatoes.
I don’t always keep them in my pantry. Therefore, I thought it would be nice to make it with fresh tomatoes instead because the nearest fresh market is just less than 5 minutes walking distance. Today we are going to learn how to make Fresh Tomato Marinara Sauce!
Choosing the Best Tomatoes
You can use almost any tomato to make marinara sauce from scratch, but the best ones will be the paste tomatoes, which are meatier and less watery which require a shorter cooking time to get rid of the liquid. The most classic versions feature San Marzano tomatoes, but any plum tomatoes work well here. Make sure to choose the reddest tomatoes you can find to make this red sauce more vibrant.
Marinara Sauce Ingredients
Once you have settles on choosing the tomatoes, the next step is to prep them. The sauce does not really need a lot of ingredients to highlight the beautiful tomato flavor.
- Fresh tomatoes. Choose red tomatoes that are meatier and less watery, such as San Marzano and plum tomatoes.
- Onion. When you slowly cook onion, the natural sugars in it caramelize, adding a wonderful flavor to the sauce.
- Garlic. Garlic is one of the all-around herbs used in Italian cooking. It adds flavor and aroma to the sauce.
- Herbs. Adding fresh or dried herbs helps to add extra flavor. Red pepper flakes, dehydrated or fresh garlic, dried oregano, parsley, or basil, or an Italian seasoning blend are all good options. Fresh herbs, like basil or oregano, should be stirred in at the end before you serve the sauce so you don’t lose that fresh flavor. Meanwhile, you can add dried herbs at any time during the cooking.
- Sugar. An important factor in achieving great tomato flavor is balancing acidity and sweetness. That is why this sauce always requires a bit of sugar.
- Seasonings. Add salt and pepper to taste.
How to Make Fresh Tomato Marinara Sauce
The secret of the classic Italian sauce lies in slowly simmering tomatoes until thick and reduced to concentrate the flavor. If you have made homemade marinara sauce before, you know that it typically involves blanching and peeling tomatoes and cooking them for hours.
My way of making the marinara sauce does not follow the traditional way as I am too lazy to blanch and peel tomatoes. In addition, I dislike having tomato seeds in my sauce. My method for making this sauce is to blend the fresh tomatoes in a food processor until smooth, then strain the puree and discarding the excess skin and seeds.
Then, cook onion and garlic in a saucepan until fragrant. Add the tomato puree. Simmer the sauce until reduced and thick. Then, season and add herbs to make it more aromatic. It is as simple as that to get the fresh-tasting, flavorful marinara sauce in less than 30 minutes.