Simple Marinara sauce

I love pasta. I don’t discriminate, I love all kinds. And sauces. White, red, pestos- the combination possibilities are endless.  I’ve made marinara sauce with many different ingredients in the past.

Marinara Sauce Recipe

This was a simple recipe that turned out surprisingly tasty. I made it a few nights ago here in my apartment in Cusco and my dinner guests loved it. I also cranked out some garlic bread because pasta and garlic bread are amazing together!

Marinara Sauce-5

Marinara Sauce-4

 Marinara Sauce-3

Marinara Sauce-2


Marinara Sauce
Serves 4
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
2 hr
  1. 1 small can of tomato paste
  2. 2 cans of tomato sauce
  3. 1 red onion (or white if you have that)
  4. half a clove of garlic ( I really love a lot of garlic.)
  5. pinch of salt and pepper
  6. 3 or 4 bay leaves
  7. pinch of oregano
  8. about a cup or so of water
  1. First, dice the onion. Add some olive/veg oil to your pot. Add the onion to the pot. While the onion cooks a bit add salt & pepper. Add the garlic, and cook till just before the garlic burns. Not too brown. Add the oregano. Add half the small can of tomato paste to the pot. Take your water and add that too. With a wooden spoon you can combine your water and paste to smooth it out a bit. Add the tomato sauce and bay leaves. Bring the pot to a boil then reduce the sauce to a simmer for about at least an hour. I like to leave my sauce to simmer for at least 2 hours. Add more water or tomato paste as you see necessary.
  2. While that's going on, you can make some garlic bread. Use the other half of the garlic clove. Make a paste-take the garlic and chop it finely. Add some salt to the garlic and flatten your knife against the cutting board, smashing the garlic and salt together until a paste forms. Or, if you've got one, use your mortar and pestle.
  3. I'm using mine, so I just put salt in the bottom and the smash it with the garlic. Spread it on your favorite bread along with some butter. I'm getting these cute individual Ciabatta loaves from my local grocery store here in Peru. I don't have an oven right now so I just put the bread face down on my non-stick pan and toast it on low.
  4. Serve with your favorite pasta. I'm partial to spaghetti. I tried it with angel hair and it drowned in the thick sauce. Of course, it was still devoured.
  1. I made this recipe with ground beef. I also used a bit more water in the sauce to allow for longer cooking time. Cook the ground beef on its own and the add it to the mixture, making sure to season the meat as you cook it. I also added some garlic to it. Although the sauce on its own is amazing too.You could make a large batch of marinara sauce and freeze it in containers for later instant meals. I like to add Parmesan cheese when serving. If you plan on freezing the sauce don't add the cheese directly to the sauce you're going to freeze. I find it doesn't freeze well and can spoil the sauce, since it contains milk.
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