Tuesday, May 20, 2014

5 Minute Marinara Sauce

Being 100% Italian, nothing makes me happier than cooking my mother's and grandmother's homemade tomato sauce recipe. Growing up in an Italian household meant having homemade sauce at least once a week. And we called it "sauce." When my mom would say "I'm making sauce," we knew that meant homemade tomato sauce with homemade meatballs and pork, over some type of pasta. My mom would cook the meat and sauce all day long and the house would smell absolutely amazing. The best part was when she would have us taste test the sauce by dipping a large piece of crusty italian bread into it. Delish! I think that's probably the boy's favorite part, and Dave's too…taste testing the sauce with bread.

As much as I love making homemade tomato sauce I don't always the time to cook it all day long. So when our family is in the mood for spaghetti and meatballs, like Dave did this afternoon, I have to make my 5 minute marinara sauce. It's not nearly as good as my family's "sauce" recipe but this is pretty darn delicious. And it only takes 5 minutes to prepare! I'd much rather make my 5 minute marinara sauce than buy a jar of store bought sauce. After you taste this, you'll see the huge difference in taste and you won't buy jarred sauce again for your pasta.

So how do you make this 5 minute marinara you ask?…it's so simple it's ridiculous! Using your food processor, add two cans of good quality whole tomatoes (San Marzano are best), 1 small can of tomato paste, 1/2 white onion, 4 garlic cloves, a dash of parsley, oregano and red pepper flakes, a handful of fresh basil leaves and salt and pepper. Press the high pulse setting and puree and until smooth. Done! Now add to a saucepan and heat it up. That's it. Waaay better than the jarred stuff. Although it's not necessary, I had my marinara sauce heating on the stove top for at least an hour. The house smelled amazing, like an authentic italian restaurant. Zachary walked in the house from playing outside and said "Oh my gosh, yay, you are making SAUCE!" I just said "Yes Zachary, homemade sauce!" Little did he know it was only my 5 minute marinara. Salute to my 5 minute marinara and making the house smell like it was my grandmother's sauce that had been stewing all day!

The sauce is heating and the meatballs just came out of the oven
The house smells like the sauce has been cooking all day
And here it is, 5 Minute Marinara over spaghetti with freshly grated parmesan cheese
Homemade meatballs on top!
5 Minute Marinara Sauce (Click to print recipe)

Preparation and cook time: 5 minutes to prep, 15 minutes to heat on stovetop or however long you choose to heat it.

Serves: 8-10

  • 2 cans of large whole tomatoes (San Marzano are best)
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 t dried oregano
  • 1/2 t dried parsley
  • 1 handful of fresh basil leaves
  • a pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 t pepper
Mix all ingredients in a food processor on high until smooth. Add marinara sauce to a large sauce pan and heat over medium-high heat until it comes to a light bubble…about 15 minutes. Serves over you favorite pasta.

Food Impressions:

Nate: "I better stop talking because this is really interfering with my ability to eat this spaghetti and meatballs quickly!" Yes, Nate was a chatter box at dinner tonight. Mostly taking about being nervous and excited about starting middle school at St. Marks.

Tyler: "This is so good. I am so glad you made this because you haven't made sauce in a long time." 

Zachary: "Yay, you made sauce! Can we have this for the next three days?"

Dave: "Let's toast to mom for making us spaghetti and meatballs."

Andrea: My 5 minute marinara made my family VERY happy tonight! 


  1. I made this sauce today and my kids (2 and 5) loved it! Thank for sharing!

    Greetings from The Netherlands,


  2. Andrea, even people in the Netherlands are enjoying your recipes now - how cool is that??? xo