Easy Fresh Tomato Marinara
This Fresh Tomato Marinara Sauce is very easy to make and bursting with ripe, juicy tomatoes, garlic, and fresh herbs. Homemade is always better when it comes to a tasty marinara because you can season it just the way you like it. Simple ingredients…simple, fresh-tasting, flavorful marinara!
This is not your Italian grandmother’s slow-cooked-all-day, secret family recipe marinara. No need to prep the jars and get out the big old tomato press for this one either. But this is a fresh and delicious marinara no-less and done in just about 30 minutes.
This simple to make marinara sauce is amazing on pasta, served as a dipping sauce, or the perfect replacement for jarred sauces in any of your recipes (we always use it in place of spaghetti sauce). I love using fresh tomatoes in my marinara especially when they are in season, sweet and abundant. When I don’t have any or when they are out of season I just swap them out for good quality canned ones. I have more details about that in my recipe notes below. Whichever you chose will make a delicious homemade marinara that you will love! It can easily be doubled so that you have extra and the leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to a week.
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 shallot or small onion finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional, omit if sensitive to spice)
- 5 fresh tomatoes 1 to 1.5 lbs, diced (I used a combination of Cherry and hot house)
- 1 Tbsp honey or brown sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2-3 stems of fresh parsley
- 2 Tbsp fresh basil finely chopped
- Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot, garlic and chili flakes if using and cook until soft and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in tomatoes and allow to simmer uncovered until tomatoes have mostly broken down, about 20-25 minutes stirring often.
- Stir in the chopped basil, honey, salt and pepper, and whole parsley stems. Continue simmering about 10 minutes more then remove parsley stems. (At this point you can either serve it as is or purée it in a food processor or using an immersion blender for a smoother sauce.)
- Serve warm or allow to slightly cool and store in a container or jar in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- If fresh tomatoes are out of season, you may substitute high-quality canned tomatoes (canned in their own juices such as San Marzano). Canned whole tomatoes need to be cut/mashed up; canned diced tomatoes may be used as-is. If using canned tomatoes, drain and reserve the juice, only adding it into sauce if more liquid is required. I substitute fresh with 1 large can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes.
- The amount of sugar, salt, and pepper depends on the sweetness and acidity of the tomatoes you use and also your own preference. Start with a moderate amount and increase as needed. (Easier to add more then remove)