Pasta alla Marinara

Since I’m not keeping too well, I wanted to keep dinner simple last night. Was bored of the daal-chawal which I had overdone in the last 2-3 days. If I’d served the mister anymore varieties of daal, he’d have kicked me without much ado!

I quickly whipped up some fusilli pasta with marinara sauce and it sure did please the palettes, considering I had hardly spent about 15-20 minutes to make it.


  • Fusilli pasta – 500 gms
  • Onions – 2 nos (large sized; diced)
  • Tomatoes – 10-12 nos (medium/large sized; super finely chopped)
  • Garlic – 7-8 pods
  • Oregano – to taste
  • Black/White pepper – 2 tsps (alter to suit your taste)
  • Red Chilli flakes – 2 tsps
  • Lemon pepper (optional) – 2 tsps (to add to the tangy-ness)
  • Basil – 2-3 leaves
  • Salt – to taste
  • Olive oil – 2-3 tbsps

Serves: 4 persons (of moderate appetite)


  • Set the pasta to cook in a wide, thick bottomed vessel. Add salt and couple of drops of oil (any oil should do) while cooking the pasta so it won’t stick together when done. You will need to cook the pasta to just about 75%, or al dente,  since it will get fully cooked later in the oven. Drain water, rinse once in cold water and drain. Set aside.
  • To get started on the marinara sauce, grind together the onion and garlic to a fine paste.
  • In a wok, heat the oil. Add the onion-garlic paste and saute till the raw, pungent taste is gone.
  • Add the super finely chopped tomatoes and salt. Cook covered for 2-3 minutes on medium heat, till mushy.
  • Mash down the tomatoes with fork or masher; not too much mashing, just a little.
  • Add the black/white pepper, red chilli flakes, lemon pepper (if using), basil and oregano and stir well to mix uniformly.
  • Allow to cook on a medium flame for about 5-7 minutes. Keep stirring in between to ensure the sauce doesn’t get burnt at the bottom of the pan.
  • Remove from flame.
  • Transfer the cooked pasta to a microwave-safe dish. Top with the marinara sauce (don’t stir yet) and microwave on high for 3-5 minutes depending on the power of your microwave.
  • Remove from the microwave, stir well with 2 wide, flat spoons so that the pasta is well covered in the marinara sauce.
  • Transfer required portions to serving plates. Garnish with more oregano/chives and serve hot with/without garlic bread.

Im sending this to Jyoti’s ‘Pasta Party‘ at Panch Pakwan.


10 responses to “Pasta alla Marinara

  1. Hey Madhuri, am a grt fan of pastas…… this one looks healthy too , no cheese n all ….. will try this one !! 🙂

  2. This one is close on the heels of the Roasted Vegetable Pasta recipe I recently put up ( Try adding just a little Maggie tastemaker to this when you make the marinara, it gives the whole dish a different flavour.

    • Deepti, you are not gonna believe this! I hunted all over the internet for the Marinara sauce recipe. Though I had one on hand, I wanted to make sure it was a genuine version! I was still open to making it any other way which was healthy. And only after I made it, I dropped by your blog and saw your latest pasta post. What a shame! If only I’d dropped by earlier, I could’ve tried your version. I do have some penne stashed away in my pantry, and will try your version soon.

    • Oh and btw, I don’t use much of the Maggi taste maker since they add Ajinomoto (MSG) to it, which is not supposed to be good for health in the long run. I will surely try it once for a variation though. Thanks for the suggestion. I wish we could collectively come up with a version of MSG-free tastemaker. What say we work on it? 😉

  3. Sure ajinomoto is bad. Which is why I dont use it regualrly too. Just once in a way. I dont even make maggie at home unless we’re home late from a trip and there’s no time to make anything else.

    Im up for the non-MSG tastemaker experiment!!

  4. This is an unique recipe Madhuri. And healthy too.. Where can we get the lemon pepper?

    • Thank you! Lemon Pepper is easily available in most supermarkets offlate. I have some from this brand called ‘Keya’ which sells seasonings and herbs in cute little spice jars. Check them out, they’re pretty good.

  5. Cheers… Still an additional fantastic entry, it’s the reason why I come to all your web site constantly!

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