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+ servings
A Weck mason jar holds a red pasta sauce, which is studded with garlic.
4.43 from 7 votes

20-Minute Marinara Sauce

Author - Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Yields: 4.5 cups


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped 
  • 4 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 28 ounces whole, peeled San Marzano tomatoes (1 28-oz/800g can)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (or 3/4-1 teaspoon fine sea salt)
  • 1 tablespoon brown or cane sugar (optional, to offset the acidity of the tomatoes)
  • 1/2 cup water (120ml)
  • Big handful fresh, finely chopped basil or parsley (optional)


  • Heat the oil in a medium large pot over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the onion. Cook the onion for about 4 minutes, stirring often, or until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook for another full minute, stirring constantly.
  • Add the tomatoes to the pot. Use a handheld potato masher or the back of a spoon to crush them (they'll spatter, so wear an apron!). Add the salt, sugar if using, and water. Allow the mixture to come to a vigorous simmer, then turn the heat to low. Throw in a handful of fresh herbs, if desired. Simmer, uncovered, for ten minutes, or until the sauce has thickened. 
  • At this point, you can add cooked pasta directly to the pot (you'll need about 12oz/340g pasta) for a pasta supper, or you can transfer the sauce to an airtight storage container. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 6 weeks.