I prefer to make my own marinara rather than buy a jar. The scent and, of course, the taste make the extra time worth it!

4 cups





Skill level

Average: 4.8 (3 votes)

Use in Isa Chandra Moskowitz's vegan spinach manicotti or pizza


  • 3 tsp (15 ml) olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional, if you like a little heat)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 680 g (24 oz) canned crushed tomatoes with basil
  • 1 tsp salt, plus more, if needed

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


1. Preheat a 2 litre  or 2-quart pot over medium-low heat.

2. Pour in the olive oil, add the onion, and sauté́ for about 5 minutes, until lightly browned.

3. Add the garlic and sauté́ until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the brown sugar and cook for about 1 minute, until sugar is dissolved and coating all the onions. Mix in thyme, oregano, red pepper flakes, if desired, and pepper to taste. Add tomatoes and salt and stir everything together. Cover the pot, leaving a little gap for steam to escape, and cook for 15 minutes.

4. Taste for salt and seasoning.


Recipe and image from I Can Cook Vegan by Isa Chandra Moskowitz (Abrams, hb, $45)