Simple And Scrumptious Marinara Sauce Recipe – Taste Of Italy

This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure policy.

The Marinara Sauce Recipe is great for pasta lovers. You’ll typically find it among the top picks in Italian cuisine. Made with fresh ingredients, it frequently becomes a sought-after choice for many. In most cases, this sauce is a solution for a richer flavor. Be cautious, though; its taste can make any dish irresistible! Having some on hand for those special dinner nights might be helpful. Mandatory for genuine Italian dishes!

Are you searching for that one sauce that can elevate your dishes to a whole new level? Let me introduce you to the Marinara Sauce Recipe.

While traveling to Middle Eastern countries and various European destinations, I often found myself at local eateries, craving authentic flavors. 

Marinara Sauce Recipe

On a recent restaurant visit in Rome, a friend recommended a dish topped with this sauce. To my surprise, it was unlike any marinara I had ever tasted. 

My feelings shifted from curiosity to complete awe. With its unique blend of ingredients, this sauce became a top pick for me. 

When I returned home, my kids frequently requested pasta topped with a Marinara Sauce Recipe. 

Now, if you’re facing the dilemma of bland pasta dishes, it might be helpful to turn to this sauce. 

By incorporating Marinara Sauce Recipe, you’ll typically find it’s the solution to transforming your meals into sought-after culinary delights.

What Is Marinara Sauce?

The Marinara Sauce Recipe is a variant of the classic marinara, often characterized by a richer flavor profile. 

Frequently favored by chefs and home cooks alike, this sauce enhances pasta dishes, pizzas, and other Italian specialties. 

Originating from traditional recipes, Marinara Sauce Recipe incorporates subtle tweaks that make it a sought-after choice. 

This sauce usually offers a robust tomato base, accentuated with herbs and spices that differentiate it from its predecessor. 

It might be helpful to consider it when searching for top picks in pasta sauces, ensuring your dishes always have that mandatory touch of authenticity.

History Of Marinara Sauce Recipe

Marinara Sauce Recipe’s history is intriguing. While the original marinara traces its roots to Italy, the Marinara Sauce Recipe emerged more recently as chefs sought to innovate. 

A prominent European chef introduced this variation by seeking inspiration from Middle Eastern spices and traditional Italian ingredients. 

This new blend quickly became a sought-after choice in many upscale restaurants. Though the chef’s identity remains elusive, many culinary circles attribute the creation to a chance fusion during a cross-cultural culinary event. 

It might be helpful to note that while the original marinara remains a timeless classic, the Marinara Sauce Recipe offers a unique twist, cementing its place in contemporary cuisine.

Interesting Facts About Marinara Sauce Recipe

  • The Marinara Sauce Recipe is great for adding a twist to traditional recipes, making it a top pick among modern chefs.
  • You’ll typically find hints of Middle-Eastern spices in this version, setting it apart from the original.
  • The sauce frequently garners attention at international food festivals, highlighting its global appeal.
  • Some believe its ingredients have health benefits beyond those of the classic marinara.
  • It might be helpful to know that its preparation often involves a longer simmering time, enhancing its depth of flavor.
  • Many sought-after restaurants have exclusive recipes, adding their unique spin to the sauce.
  • In most cases, Marinara Sauce Recipe pairs best with robust wines, complementing its rich taste.
  • It’s mandatory in specific gourmet pasta competitions, emphasizing its esteemed reputation in the culinary world.
Jar and Ingredients

What Are The Regional Adaptations Of This Sauce?

While rooted in European tradition, the Marinara Sauce Recipe has experienced various regional adaptations. 

In Middle Eastern countries, you’ll typically find the addition of spices like za’atar or sumac, infusing it with a unique zest. 

Asian variations frequently incorporate ingredients like lemongrass or ginger, providing a surprising twist. 

South American adaptations might be helpful to those who enjoy a smoky touch, as they often integrate chipotle or roasted peppers. 

European tweaks remain closer to the original but with added herbs from specific regions. 

In most cases, these regional adaptations have transformed the Marinara Sauce Recipe into a sought-after sauce, reflecting the diverse culinary preferences of chefs globally.

What Will Make You Love This Marinara Sauce Recipe? 

  • Its rich texture is excellent for clinging to pasta, ensuring every bite is flavorful.
  • The nuanced blend of traditional and novel ingredients sets it apart from conventional sauces.
  • Frequently, its taste is a reminder of upscale restaurants, delivering gourmet dining at home.
  • It might be helpful to know that its versatility goes beyond pasta; it pairs well with bread, meat, and seafood.
  • In most cases, its unique taste creates memorable meals, making it a top pick for special occasions.
  • Its blend resonates with traditionalists and adventurers, a sought-after middle ground in the culinary world.
  • The sauce offers a solution for those seeking an elevated dining experience without complication.
Bowl and Spoon

Ingredients List 

Olive oil4 tablespoons
Garlic, minced4 cloves
Onion, chopped1 small
Whole peeled tomatoes (can)28 ounces
Crushed tomatoes (can)28 ounces
Dried basil leaves3 teaspoons
White sugar1 teaspoon
Saltto taste
Pepperto taste

Ingredient Tips

  • When choosing olive oil, it might be helpful to opt for extra virgin for a richer flavor profile.
  • Fresh garlic cloves are great for maximum flavor; avoid pre-minced varieties.
  • For onions, in most cases, using sweet or yellow varieties gives a balanced taste.
  • Always ensure that canned tomatoes are of high quality. Sought-after brands often yield better results.
  • Freshly crushing whole peeled tomatoes can elevate the sauce’s texture.
  • It’s better to store dried basil leaves in a cool, dark place to preserve their essence.
  • While white sugar is specified, experimenting with brown sugar can offer a deeper sweetness.
  • Using freshly ground salt and pepper typically enhances the overall flavor.
  • Tasting the sauce as you go might be helpful, adjusting seasonings as needed.
  • For a spicy kick, consider adding a pinch of red pepper flakes.

What Are The Variations Of Marinara Sauce Recipe?

  • Spicy Kick: Add red chili flakes or fresh chili for those who crave heat.
  • Herbaceous Touch: Incorporate fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme for an aromatic experience.
  • Creamy Blend: For a rosé version, mix in some heavy cream.
  • Mediterranean Twist: You’ll typically find olives and capers added in this variant.
  • Seafood Delight: Mussels or shrimp can be simmered in the sauce for a marine influence.
  • Veggie Boost: Adding bell peppers or zucchini is great for an added texture and flavor.
  • Meaty Version: Ground meat or sausage can provide a robust, hearty dimension.
  • Smokey Depth: Incorporating smoked paprika or roasted tomatoes offers a deep, smoky undertone.
  • Sweet Balance: A dash of balsamic vinegar can strike a delightful sweet-tart balance.
  • Cheesy Infusion: Melting in mozzarella or Parmesan cheese gives a creamy, cheesy finish.

Recipe Directions 

Cooking Method

  • Preparation: Begin by preparing your ingredients. Mince the garlic and chop the onion. Measure your olive oil, basil, sugar, salt, and pepper.
  • Sauteing: In a skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil. Once the oil is warm, saute garlic and onion until they turn translucent, typically for about 10 minutes.
  • Tomato Preparation: While the garlic and onion are sauteed, take your whole peeled tomatoes and break them apart using your hands. This process helps release the juices and gives the sauce a rustic texture.
  • Combining Ingredients: To the skillet, add the hand-crushed whole tomatoes, the canned crushed tomatoes, basil, sugar, salt, and pepper.
  • Simmering: Reduce the heat to low. Cover the skillet and let the mixture simmer for 20 minutes. During this time, stir occasionally to ensure the ingredients meld well and the bottom doesn’t scorch.
  • Resting: After simmering, remove the skillet from heat and let it sit for 10 minutes. This rest time allows the flavors to meld further and deepen.

Scaling The Recipe 

Scaling Up

  • Ingredients: Double or triple the ingredients proportionally. Ensure your skillet or pot is large enough.
  • Cooking Time: While sautéing time remains roughly the same, simmering might need an additional 5-10 minutes for larger batches.
  • Taste: It’s mandatory to taste as you go, adjusting seasonings if needed.

Scaling Down

  • Ingredients: Halve the quantities for a smaller batch.
  • Cooking Time: Reduce simmering time by 5 minutes.
  • Equipment: Use a smaller skillet to ensure even cooking.
Marinara Sauce Recipe

Can This Sauce Be Used As A Marinade, Dipping Sauce, Or Dressing For Salads?

  • Marinade: The sauce can infuse proteins like chicken or tofu with its rich flavors. Before grilling or baking, marinate your choice of protein for a few hours.
  • Dipping Sauce: Its thick consistency is excellent for dipping breadsticks, mozzarella sticks, or grilled vegetables. Due to its robust flavor, you’ll typically find it a sought-after alternative to regular dips.
  • Dressing for Salads: While unconventional, if thinned out slightly with olive oil or vinegar, it can be used for Mediterranean salads. The tangy tomato base complements veggies and feta cheese beautifully.

What Are The Best Dishes To Accompany Marinara Sauce Recipe?

  • Pasta Varieties: Spaghetti, penne, or linguine are top picks that benefit from this sauce.
  • Pizza: A great base layer for toppings like mozzarella, basil, and pepperoni.
  • Meatballs: Whether baked or fried, meatballs drenched in this sauce are a classic choice.
  • Lasagna: The sauce enhances layers of cheese, pasta, and meat.
  • Stuffed Bell Peppers: The sauce can be mixed with the filling or spread on top.
  • Eggplant or Chicken Parmesan: The sauce complements the breaded and fried main ingredients.
  • Bruschetta: A unique twist, using a Marinara Sauce Recipe as a base before adding tomatoes and basil.
  • Calzone: This folded pizza variant frequently uses the sauce inside or as a dip.
  • Ravioli: Stuffed pasta pairs beautifully with this sauce.
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich: Elevate this staple by adding a side of Marinara Sauce Recipe for dipping.
Marinara Sauce Recipe

What Are Some Classic Dishes That Feature Marinara Sauce Recipe?

  • Spaghetti Marinara: A simple, beloved dish where the sauce envelops delicate strands of spaghetti.
  • Meatball Sub: Toasted subs filled with meatballs drenched in Marinara Sauce Recipe.
  • Chicken Parmigiana: Breaded chicken cutlets topped with the sauce and melted cheese.
  • Eggplant Rollatini: Thin slices of eggplant, stuffed and rolled, then baked in the sauce.
  • Pizza Margherita: A pizza showcasing the sauce beneath fresh mozzarella and basil.
  • Stuffed Shells: Pasta shells filled with ricotta, baked in the sauce.
  • Marinara Dip: A sought-after dip for mozzarella sticks or garlic knots.
  • Calamari Marinara: Tender squid cooked in a flavorful sauce.

What Are The Key Flavor Profiles And Taste Sensations That Marinara Sauce Recipe Offers?

  • Tomato Richness: The core taste provides a tangy and slightly sweet base.
  • Savory Undertones: Arising from sautéed onions and garlic.
  • Herbaceous Notes: Dried basil imparts an aromatic earthiness.
  • Mild Sweetness: A touch of sugar balances the sauce’s acidity.
  • Spicy Kick: A hint of pepper can bring warmth depending on its variation.
  • Olive Oil Smoothness: Offers a silky mouthfeel and a hint of fruitiness.
  • Seasoned Depth: Salt enhances flavors, making the tomato and herbs pop.
Jar and Spoon

Can This Sauce Be Stored And Preserved For Future Use? What Is Its Shelf Life?

  • Refrigeration: The sauce can last up to a week in an airtight container.
  • Freezing: You can freeze the sauce in individual portions for longer storage. It typically retains quality for up to 6 months.
  • Canning: The sauce can be preserved for up to a year using a sterilized canning process.

What Are The Substitutes For Marinara Sauce Recipe?

  • Basic Marinara: The original version is simpler but rich in tomato flavor.
  • Tomato Passata: A smooth, uncooked tomato puree that can be seasoned to taste.
  • Tomato Sauce: Tomato Sauce is available in cans, this is a thinner alternative but can be enhanced with herbs and spices.
  • Crushed Tomatoes: In most cases, adding herbs, garlic, and onion can transform this into a sauce-like consistency.
  • Alfredo Sauce: A creamy alternative, it’s excellent for those who prefer a white sauce.
  • Pesto: Offers a herbal touch with its basil and pine nut base.
  • Salsa: A spicy alternative, best for dishes that can handle a kick.
  • Bolognese: A meat-based sauce offering a richer and heartier flavor.
Marinara Sauce Recipe

How To Adjust The Consistency Of The Sauce?

  • Too Thin: Let the sauce simmer uncovered. The liquid will evaporate, and the sauce will thicken.
  • Too Thick: Add small amounts of water or broth until you reach the desired consistency. Tomato juice is also great for maintaining flavor.
  • For a Smoother Texture: Use an immersion or regular blender to process the sauce until smooth.
  • For a Chunkier Texture: Add hand-crushed tomatoes or chopped vegetables.
  • Creamy Version: Stir in heavy cream or a roux mixture.
  • For a Richer Base: Add tomato paste to intensify and thicken the sauce.

Should We Serve The Sauce Cold Or Warm?

The Marinara Sauce Recipe is traditionally served warm. Heating the sauce enhances its flavors, melding the ingredients for a cohesive taste experience. 

The warm sauce is great for pasta dishes, lasagna, meatballs, and as a base for pizzas.There are instances where a cold application might be appropriate. 

For instance, when used as a dipping sauce for fresh veggies, cold appetizers, or a cold pasta salad base, the sauce can be served at room temperature or slightly chilled.

Marinara Sauce Recipe

Nutritional Values

Marinara Sauce Recipe, being tomato-based, is typically low in calories but rich in vitamins A and C, potassium, and antioxidants.

However, its exact nutritional values depend on specific ingredient quantities and additions.

What Are The Total Calories In Marinara Sauce Recipe?

The total calories in the Marinara Sauce Recipe depend on the exact ingredients and their quantities used. 

Typically, a homemade version might range between 70-100 calories per half-cup serving, considering the primary ingredients are tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and onions. 

Dietary Restrictions Of The Marinara Sauce Recipe

  • Vegan/Vegetarian: Naturally fits both diets as it’s plant-based.
  • Gluten-Free: Typically gluten-free, but always check added ingredients or store-bought versions.
  • Low-Carb/Keto: Contains natural sugars from tomatoes but can fit in moderate amounts.
  • Paleo: Suitable if all ingredients are paleo-compliant.
  • Dairy-Free: Naturally dairy-free unless modified.
  • Nut-Free: It doesn’t contain nuts but ensures cross-contamination isn’t risky.
  • Low-Fat: Contains olive oil; reduce the amount for a lower-fat version.
  • Low-Sodium: Adjust salt amounts or use no-salt-added tomatoes to fit this need.
  • Whole30: Compatible when made with compliant ingredients.
  • Halal/Kosher: Naturally fits both, but ensure all ingredients adhere to specific guidelines.

Nutrition Table 

Nutrition Table

What Are The Common Mistakes While Making This Sauce?

  • Overheating the Olive Oil: Heating olive oil too much can lead to a bitter taste. It’s better to sauté garlic and onion on medium heat.
  • Burning the Garlic: Garlic can burn quickly, imparting a bitter flavor. Frequently stirring and watching the heat can prevent this.
  • Using Low-Quality Tomatoes: The quality of the tomatoes significantly affects the sauce’s taste. Investing in good-quality canned tomatoes or fresh, ripe ones might be helpful.
  • Underseasoning: Failing to season adequately can result in a bland sauce. Adjusting salt, sugar, and herbs as you go is mandatory.
  • Overcooking: While simmering melds the flavors, overcooking can diminish the fresh tomato taste.
  • Rushing the Process: Patience is vital. Giving the sauce time to simmer brings out the flavors more robustly.
  • Not Tasting as You Go: Regular tasting helps adjust the seasoning and ensure the desired flavor profile.
  • Using Dried Herbs Indiscriminately: Fresh herbs and dried herbs have different potency. Adjusting quantities based on what you’re using is essential.
  • Not Letting It Rest: After cooking, giving the sauce time to sit can help the flavors meld even more.

What Are Some Creative Uses Of Leftover Sauce?

  • Shakshuka: Use the sauce as a base and poach eggs for a delicious breakfast.
  • Pizza Bread: Slather on baguette slices, top with cheese, and broil.
  • Soup Base: Mix with broth for a tomato soup starter.
  • Stuffed Vegetables: Use as filling for bell peppers or zucchini before baking.
  • Grains Enhancer: Mix into quinoa or rice for added flavor.
  • Chili: Incorporate into a chili recipe for a rich tomato base.
  • Bloody Mary: A dash in this cocktail can add complexity.
  • Grilled Protein: Use a topping or side for grilled chicken or fish.
  • Sandwich Spread: Enhance sandwiches or wraps.
  • Savory Crepes: Fill crepes with the sauce and cheese for a twist.
Marinara Sauce Recipe

Special Tools & Equipment Needed

  • Skillet or Saucepan: A deep, wide pan is excellent for even cooking and simmering.
  • Wooden Spoon: Helps in stirring without scratching the pan.
  • Garlic Press: For extracting fresh garlic juice and pulp.
  • Can Opener: Essential if you’re using canned tomatoes.
  • Hand Blender/Immersion Blender: Useful for achieving a smoother sauce consistency.
  • Chef’s Knife: For chopping onions and other ingredients.
  • Cutting Board: A stable surface for prepping ingredients.
  • Measuring Spoons and Cups: For accurate ingredient quantities.
  • Strainer: If you desire a seedless sauce.
  • Glass or Plastic Storage Containers: For storing any leftover sauce.
  • Heat-Resistant Spatula: Useful for scraping and stirring.
  • Ladle: For serving or transferring the sauce.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What’s The Main Difference Between Marinara Sauce Recipe And Regular Marinara Sauce?

Marinara Sauce Recipe often has a richer flavor profile, sometimes incorporating unique ingredients or preparation methods that set it apart from the classic marinara.

Can I Use Fresh Tomatoes Instead Of Canned?

Absolutely! Fresh, ripe tomatoes can be used. Just ensure they are blanched and peeled. The quantity might need adjustment, and the cooking time might increase slightly to achieve the desired consistency.

How Can I Make The Sauce Less Acidic?

Some people add a pinch of baking soda to neutralize the acidity. Alternatively, a bit of sugar or a shredded carrot can also help balance out the acidity of the tomatoes.

Is It Necessary To Use Sugar In The Recipe?

No, the sugar is mainly to counteract the acidity of the tomatoes. You can omit it or replace it with natural sweeteners like honey or even a splash of carrot juice.

Can I Add Meat To Make It A Meat Sauce?

Definitely! Ground meat like beef, pork, or even turkey can initially be browned with onions and garlic, transforming the Marinara Sauce Recipe into a rich meat sauce.

Simple And Scrumptious Marinara Sauce Recipe – Taste Of Italy

5 from 10 votes
Recipe by Lana Rivera Course: Hot Sauces


Prep time


Cooking time




Ferment/Rest Time



Marinara Sauce Recipe is a rich, flavorful variation of the classic marinara. This sauce is excellent for elevating pasta dishes, pizzas, and more. Its robust taste makes it a sought-after choice among food enthusiasts seeking a contemporary twist on a timeless favorite.


  • 4 tablespoons 4 Olive oil

  • 4 4 Garlic cloves ,minced

  • 1 1 Onion, chopped (small)

  • 28 ounces 28 Whole peeled tomatoes (can)

  • 28 ounces 28 Crushed tomatoes (can)

  • 3 teaspoons 3 Dried basil leaves

  • 1 teaspoon 1 White sugar

  • Salt (To Taste)

  • Pepper (To Taste)

Step-By-Step Directions 

  • Preparation: Begin by organizing all your ingredients. Mince the garlic and chop the onion.
  • Olive Oil: In a skillet or saucepan over medium heat, pour in the olive oil. Allow it to heat, but not to the point of smoking.
  • Saute: Add the minced garlic and chopped onion to the skillet. Sauté until they become translucent, usually around 10 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent any burns.
  • Tomatoes: Take the whole peeled tomatoes and gently crush them by hand. This gives the sauce a rustic texture. Add these to the skillet.
  • Additional Ingredients: Pour in the crushed tomatoes. Then, sprinkle in the basil, sugar, salt, and pepper.
  • Simmer: Reduce the heat to a low setting. Cover the skillet with a lid and let the sauce mixture simmer for approximately 20 minutes. During this time, stir occasionally to avoid sticking, and mix the flavors evenly.
  • Taste And Adjust: After simmering, taste the sauce. Adjust the seasonings, if necessary, based on your preference.
  • Serve Or Store: Use the sauce immediately for your desired dish, or let it cool and transfer to storage containers. If storing, remember to refrigerate or freeze.

Recipe Video


  • Tomato Type: Diced or chopped canned tomatoes work well if you can’t find whole peeled tomatoes. Remember, the quality of tomatoes plays a significant role in the end flavor.
  • Fresh Herbs: You might need to adjust the quantity if using fresh basil instead of dried. Fresh herbs are often more potent, so use them sparingly at first.
  • Sugar Substitute: If you’re watching your sugar intake, use a sugar substitute or a natural sweetener like honey. Adjust to taste.
  • Spice Levels: Add red pepper flakes or a pinch of cayenne for a spicier sauce.
  • Olive Oil: A good quality extra virgin olive oil can make a difference in flavor. However, be cautious of its smoke point during sautéing.

5 thoughts on “Simple And Scrumptious Marinara Sauce Recipe – Taste Of Italy”

Leave a Comment

Author picture


Welcome, fellow flavor enthusiasts to the world of Sauce Chick, where every flavor tells a tale of creativity, passion, and the harmonious fusion of spices and sauces.

More About Me