Marinara sauce Recipe


Kira Volpi’s homemade marinara sauce recipe. Step by step video tutorial and step by step pictures. Make a little, make a lot. A classic marinara sauce can be used for so many different Italian food recipes. It's the perfect base to your lasagna recipes, baked pasta recipes or just pour it over a bowl of pasta with a grated parmigiano on top. Not to mention other Italian food classics, like my famous (soon be famous) chicken parmigiano or eggplant parmigiano for instance.



To make the marinara you should start with a great quality canned tomato. If you need some suggestions I've done a pretty extensive comparison of many different brands that I've come across in my culinary travels. My canned tomatoes page is complete with pictures of each brand and each is rated based off of color (C), texture (T) and flavor (F).


I use two 28oz cans of San Marazano canned tomatoes You also need:

  1. ½ cup of olive oil
  2. 4 cloves of garlic crushed
  3. 4 cloves of garlic thinly sliced
  4. 10-12 fresh basil leaves torn or coarsely chopped
  5. A splash or two of white wine at room temperature
  6. Salt

Marinara Sauce Recipe Preparation:

Coat the pan with the olive oil and heat on medium. Then add the sliced garlic to the oil and stir until translucent and tender. See how the garlic is becoming tender and golden brown? Now add the crushed garlic and stir a for a few more minutes. Splash with white wine if necessary to prevent the garlic from burning. If it burns to a dark brown, throw it out and start again. Burned garlic creates an irreversible bitter flavor.

Pour in the San Marzano tomatoes and the rest of the olive oil and the salt. Stir together and simmer uncovered for about 20 to 30 minutes. In 30 minutes you should see how the sauce has evaporated to about half. When the sauce is ready remove from the pot from heat and stir in the freshly chopped basil.

It's very customary to put the freshly made pasta into the pan with the sauce and sauté, or you can spoon a little over a some pasta for yourself with grated parmigiano cheese.

You can taste the fresh flavor.

Italian food is all about fresh, simple, quality ingredients put together in a way that tastes delicious. Do you see how simple it is to cook fresh and delicious Italian food?

For a Large Batch of Marinara Sauce Recipe:

If you're cooking pasta for a crowd, this is the way to go. A small can of 28 ounces of San Marzano tomatoes, is usually about three to four dollars a can. A number 10 tin, which is a wholesale food industry term for the jumbo cans of food is 106 oz or 6 lbs 10 oz. That is if you can find them. Try specialty or gourmet stores if you have one near you.

This should make 10 to 12 cups of marinara sauce.

When I make a Marinara I like to use crushed tomatoes rather then puree because of the texture. Having a few small pieces of tomato in the sauce is part of the difference between a pomodoro sauce, which is a little thicker and has a smoother consistency, then a marinara sauce.

So if you do buy the large can of tomatoes you can simply take a potato basher or masher and crush the tomatoes yourself. Do it right in the pot your cooking the marinara sauce recipe in, to the consistency you like.

Marinara Sauce Ingredients Large Batch:

  1. 1 #10 tin Canned tomatoes
  2. 8 cloves of garlic finely sliced
  3. 8 cloves of crushed garlic
  4. 20 basil leaves, sliced or torn
  5. White wine at room temperature
  6. 1 cup of olive oil
  7. Salt to taste

Large Batch Preparation:

You basically repeat all the steps listed above for the smaller batch of marinara sauce recipe except each step will take a little longer because of the volume of sauce you're making.

Open the number 10 tin can be a little awkward since the can is so big. Be careful with the lid. It's sharp! Pour the tomatoes into a large pot. Mash them a few times with your potato masher and set aside.

garlic slicer saute the garlic

Slice your garlic with the garlic slicer. This kitchen tool comes in super handy when you're making a large batch of pasta sauce like this!

Now you'll need a fairly large sauté pan. Heat about ¼ cup of the olive oil in the pan on medium and then add the sliced garlic. Sauté until golden brown. Then add the crushed garlic, splash with some white wine if desired and sauté a little longer.

add the garlic to the marinara pour in the rest of your olive oil

Remove the sauté pan from the heat and pour the garlic mixture into the large pot with the tomatoes. Pour in the remaining olive oil, salt and simmer uncovered for approximately 35 to 45 minutes.

There is a common misconception that you should cook the family recipe for pasta sauce "all day". Not this marinara sauce recipe!

sauté the garlic

When the sauce has reduced to the thickness you like, remove from heat and add the freshly cut basil and stir.

This is plenty of sauce for you to jar and refrigerate, or you can freeze it for up to 6 months. My favorite though it to share with friends, family and neighbors. They will love it, I promise you. All of my friends told me I should jar this sauce and sell it. If they only knew how simple it was!

Vivere, Amare, Ridere e Mangiare Bene
Live, Love, Laugh and Eat Well!
Kira Volpi

Do you have a pasta recipe to share? Just like this marinara sauce recipe I will post it right here on this site for a whole page dedicated to your Italian pasta recipe.

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