Recipe | Healthy Quick Food | How to make Classic Tomato Marinara Sauce

4 Aug

We all have cravings and penchants for foods that others might consider weird – myself included. But one friend who’s tweets I follow on Twitter caught my attention for the wrong reason as I deemed what he eats to not be “food”.

Concoctions such as “ham and cheese sandwiches with HP sauce”, “french bread, ham and cheese, croissants with philly and jam and a cappacuino and hot chocolate”.

This boy needed to be taught a thing or two about simple dishes that are easy to cook and are SO much better for your diet.

First up – my simple marinara sauce.


  • 1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or chopped finely (this is where you can pretend you’re in The Soprano’s and use a razor if you must)
  • 1/2 chopped onion (optional – red is best but white is fine)
  • 1 tsp of paprika or cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp chilli powder or dried chilli flakes (can add more if you want very spicy!)
  • dash of dried, mixed herbs (thyme, basil, oregano)
  • black pepper
  • dash of salt
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • extra virgin olive oil to cook
  • basil leaves (optional)

ingredients for marinara sauce


Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan, before it gets too hot, if using onions, gently fry to soften, otherwise pour in your chopped tomatoes and stir.

stir chopped tomatoes with olive oil in saucepan

Turn up the heat a bit, add in your garlic, herbs, chilli,  black pepper and salt. Stir again. This is the core ingredient – sugar. A tablespoon of sugar (must be brown) gives the sauce a nice deep rich taste and takes the edge off of the tomatoes. Add in the sugar and stir in. Turn the heat right down to simmer for about 15-20 mins.

add herbs and garlic to the marinara sauce

The thing that is so great about this sauce is that you can add what you want to make it versatile. Here are some options:

  • At the simmer stage you can add in pitted black olives which goes very well with this kind of sauce.
  • Prawns: fry prawns for two minutes separately and stir into the sauce before serving
  • Chicken: chop chicken breasts into medium sized cube pieces and fry separately before adding to the sauce
  • Tuna: As soon as you’ve put the tinned tomatoes in the saucepan, add a tin of tuna (mash up before adding to separate flakes)
  • If you’re feeling adventurous, give the dish a real Italian twist and add meatballs. The meatballs will need to be pre rolled, refrigerated to set and then fried in a pan to cook before adding to the sauce

All of the above should be served with Linguine, Spaghetti or pasta (Rigatoni, Fusili and Penne recommended).

I advise making the marinara sauce and storing air tight in a fridge. You can then simply choose what you want to go with it (apart from the tuna) and cook that and the pasta before warming through your sauce. It’s also great for freezing.

simple but tasty Italian marinara sauce


One Response to “Recipe | Healthy Quick Food | How to make Classic Tomato Marinara Sauce”


  1. Posh Bangers and Mash – Venison Sausages with Bourguignon/Red Onion Gravy and Mashed Potatoes with Peas and Mint « Foodie Claire - June 19, 2011

    […] I like to have an idea of at least 4 meals for the week. I almost always make a batch of my marinara sauce. I always stick a tub of marscarpone in the trolley, a bag of spinach, frozen prawns are essential […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

NutriBullet Blog

Just another WordPress site

Hair Valley

For Weave, Wig & braid wearers who also want great Natural Hair

Steve McSteveface

"just a guy, writing stuff on a blog - hoping that people will read it"

Repeating Islands

News and commentary on Caribbean culture, literature, and the arts

A Thrifty Mrs

A fun money saving blog

London BYO/Corkage Restaurant List

BYO and corkage information for London Restaurants, grouped by area.

She Hearts The High Street

Stay stylish on a budget

Little Bliss Nutrition

A 20-something's ventures in clean eating, healing from allergies & finding bliss in the little things

Unofficial Guide to the London Underground

Mind the gap. And your manners.

Life is Short. Eat hard!

Our Endless Search for Fantastic Food!

Somewhere Beyond the Sea

A blog about life, travel and sights along the way

Foodie Claire

A little blog about food, restaurants and drinking by an Essex Girl

the boy who ate the world

Confessions of a Malaysian-born, London-based foodblogger in search of the perfect meal...

The London Review of Sandwiches

In search of London's best sandwiches

Ang Sarap (A Tagalog word for "It's Delicious")

A blog about dishes and recipes prepared by a passionate foodie simplified for people who shares the same passion. Warning: May contain traces of reviews


Just another site

en quête de saveur

a flavor quest

London Living

A little blog about food, restaurants and drinking by an Essex Girl

%d bloggers like this: