Marinara Dipping Sauce

Marinara Dipping Sauce

Dips & Condiments

Italian tomato sauce can often be disregarded as too simple and easy. I mean how hard can it be to stir tomatoes with a few other ingredients and turn into a sauce? Anyone who has made this will tell you exactly how how much takes to master a good simple Italian sauce.

I’ve learnt the tomato sauce after a tremendous numbers of trials and errors. And of course, like any other homecook I do my own variations, most frequently with a lot more spice than is acceptable in Italy, but then again who’s judging?

The one type of sauce that I actually indulge in without the chillies is the marinara sauce. There is good marinara and there is also bad marinara. Like I said, it’s not easy to make a good sauce. This recipe takes me down nostalgia lane; in college, my friends and I used to frequent a nearby restaurant and gorge on these appetisers. That was a very long time ago and I don’t even remember the name of the restaurant, but I do remember the breadsticks and the sauce – simple but perfectly balanced with garlic, thickened tomato puree, and lovely herbs. This marinara dipping sauce is smooth, thick and delicious. Traditionally, marinara sauce does not have onions or chillies, but simply tomatoes, garlic and dried herbs. And this is one of those moments that I choose not to fray far from the rules. I serve this sauce with buttered and garlic breadsticks, but you could also add some cheese to it. This is simple good food, perfect with a glass of crisp white wine and the telly and just as perfect for game night with platters of other deep fried foods!

The Recipe
Serves 2


  • 6 tomatoes, crushed
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • breadsticks


  • Heat the olive oil and butter in a medium deep pot on medium flame.
  • Add the garlic and let cook for 5-7 minutes.
  • Then add the herbs followed by the tomato puree.
  • Add sugar, salt and pepper and let the sauce simmer, stirring occasionally for at least 30 minutes. The sauce should be thickened to dipping consistency.
  • The sauce can be served warm or at room temperature.
  • Serve with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese on top and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

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The recipes are tried and tested, some are adapted from various places, and a few are passed down; but every one of them comes straight from the heart.