Authentic Italian Marinara Sauce

Total Time
2hrs 35mins
Prep 5 mins
Cook 2 hrs 30 mins

My Sicillian father used to make this sauce at least weekly. Usually we used fresh, ripe plum tomatos but I don't have his green thumb so my sauce uses the canned tomatos. This is a great basic sauce to start with. Can be served as is over pasta or you can add meatballs, sausage etc. My dad used to add 5 Italian sausages, a pork chop, and a neck bone to the sauce and let it simmer for hours. If you add the meat, brown it and add it to the sauce as it simmers.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In large pan over medium heat saute chopped garlic and onion in olive oil until translucent.
  2. Add cans of tomato.
  3. Sprinkle on black pepper.
  4. Add bay leaves.
  5. Let sauce simmer for about 30 minutes to reduce and intensify flavors stirring occassionally.
  6. Add basil and parsley and stir well.
  7. Allow sauce to simmer at least another two hours (can simmer all day if desired)stirring occassionally.
  8. After two hours taste sauce, if acidic or if you want more sweetness add 1/2 tsp baking powder (or sugar) to cut acidity. Only do this if necessary.
  9. Pull out both bay leaves before serving/storing.
  10. Sauce can be served over pasta now or stored in freezer or refridgerator. If adding in meat add at the begining when adding tomatos.
Most Helpful

Great tasting recipe. Be careful saying don't use tomatoes with citric added, or add too much baking powder; this is a safety issue, especially if you add the vegetables and meat, close the lid completely, and leave it for a while. Don't want your guests getting sick later. Citric is the main acid in tomatoes! That's why pathogens don't grow in sauce, except salmonella after 20 hours if the pH is to high.

freshpacktomato October 13, 2015

Best Marinara recipe I have ever tasted... and I've tried a lot of them. This is TRUE Italian, classic marinara!

Jo T. April 23, 2014