The Ultimate Homemade Marinara Sauce: Easy, Delicious and Budget-Friendly!

Marinara Sauce

Home made marinara or Napoletana sauce is one of the easiest things you can make and costs a fraction of the bought jars. Try this budget friendly pasta or marinara sauce and you will be amazed at how delicious home made marinara sauce is and how quick it is to make! This marinara sauce has no additives or preservatives added to it and is vegan too.

Marinara sauce or Napoletana sauce is a simple tomato based sauce. In America they call it marinara or red sauce. In Australia our equivalent is Napoletana sauce. This "red sauce" is great to use as a pasta sauce or on pizzas or in lasagne.

While pasta or marinara sauce isn't super expensive and usually we have a few jars of it for convenience, it is SO much cheaper to make, especially when you need a lot of it. I had a recipe that required 1600mls or 56ozs of marinara sauce and that would have cost me just under $20 just in sauce! Compare that to 2x 800g/28oz jars of diced Italian tomatoes that cost a total of $5.40. It was no contest. I had garlic and onion already and I make this in the Thermomix so that it is all self contained and doesn't splash anywhere. I made this in the morning while wearing my pyjamas and robe and I don't get a splotch of red on me.

When you make your own marinara sauce you can use the flavours that you like. This is simple with onion, garlic, tinned tomatoes and an Italian herb mix. I add chilli because to me, life isn't worth living without chilli (I sound dramatic but it's true). And the fact that it's around a quarter of the price is an even better bonus. I love a bargain of sorts and it's a nice feeling saving money.

Marinara Sauce

Speaking of saving money, my friend Laura is the queen of negotiation. She and I visited Melbourne a couple of weekends ago and were staying at a hotel in separate suites. Unfortunately, Laura's suite was unlivable-it was hot like a furnace and no adjustments to the thermostat or AC panel or number of portable air conditioners could make it habitable.

Unfortunately all of the suites were booked so they scrambled to find a solution. We can't stay in the same hotel room together because I like my room on the warmer side but turn the air con off at night and she likes it cold with the air con on at night. By now it was 11pm and we were tired. They had decided to have her sleep in another room but keep her stuff in her original room. It is not like anyone could sleep in there with that heat blasting all night anyway.

They gave her a key to a much smaller room and by then she was just happy to have somewhere to sleep that was comfortable at the 18 degrees she prefers to sleep at. The next morning, somewhat refreshed and going on a few hours sleep she went to check out. The man at reception told her, "We will happily offer you a 25% discount on your stay."

Now some would have been happy to accept that but canny Laura was having none of that. She asked, "How much was the room that I slept in?". She said that she would pay that price because there was no way that she was paying for a suite that she hadn't slept in which was actually completely logical. They quickly came around to her logic and she saved some money.

So tell me Dear Reader, do you make your own marinara sauce? Are you good at negotiating?

Marinara Sauce

Marinara Sauce

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An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Makes: 1800ml or 63ozs sauce

  • 1 large yellow or white onion (around 200g/7ozs), peeled
  • 10 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 50g/1.7ozs butter or oil if vegan
  • 2x 800g/28oz tins diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoons dried Italian herb seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1 small red chilli, chopped (optional)

Step 1 Conventional - Finely dice the onion and add to a large pot with the butter and saute for 5 minutes on medium heat. Dice the garlic and add to the onion and saute for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, Italian seasoning, sugar, salt, chilli flakes and chilli if using. Bring to a simmer and knock down to low medium heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes. When the sauce starts to spit, take it off the heat. It is ready.

Marinara Sauce

Step 1 Thermomix - Place the onion and garlic in the TM bowl and set to 10 seconds, speed #7. Scrape down the sides and add the butter and set to 5 minutes, Varoma, Speed #2, no MC. Add the tomatoes, Italian seasoning, sugar, salt, chilli flakes and chilli if using and set to 16 minutes, 100C, speed #2, no MC. When the sauce starts to spit, stop the TM, it is ready.

Notes: You can halve, double or triple the recipe but cooking time will need to be adjusted for the change in volume.

This sauce can be preserved if you use canning procedures. It will also keep in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Marinara Sauce

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