Kellymac's Marinara Sauce

Total Time
2hrs 12mins
Prep 12 mins
Cook 2 hrs

As some of you may know I love pasta! I have tried a ton of different marinara sauces prepared in many different recipes. I have found a few that are pretty good, many of which are on this site, but I created this recipe to meet all of the requirements I look for in a perfect sauce. A little sweet, a little spicy, not too watery, not too chunky, and not too difficult. I have served this recipe many times and it always gets a five star review. The secret ingredient here is the anchovy, you can't tell it is in there but it adds amazing depth of flavor to this sauce. I really hope that you all enjoy this!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat.
  2. Add brown sugar and red pepper flakes and mix until sugar melts.
  3. Saute onions, garlic, and anchovy until onions are clear and anchovy breaks up.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients in the order listed and stir well.
  5. Allow to simmer for two hours.
  6. This sauce also makes a great base for meatballs, or bolognese sauce. Allow to simmer for an extra hour at least if adding meat.
Most Helpful

Great Marinara Sauce!!! I made this to serve over my meatballs and it was a hit with the whole family and still have lots of leftovers!! Thanks for sharing your recipe. Made for PRMR.

diner524 March 08, 2010

This is terrific! I've made marinara a thousand times but never with anchovy. Very subtle, no fishy taste. Used merlot wine as that's all I had on hand. Delish! Thanks for posting...

Dori S February 23, 2010

Oh my. This was just excellent. The flavors were so rich and went together perfectly (although I would have liked a little more heat but not unusual for us) The only change I made was I took 28 ounces of diced tomatoes and blended them to replace the 28 ounces of whole tomatoes in puree. I also added about 1-2 tsp of salt and some fresh ground pepper to the mix toward the end of cooking. For my meat loving DH, I added 2 pounds of lean ground beef that I had browned and drained. For the wine I used Hearty Burgundy which worked well for this. I let this simmer, covered, for about 6 hours, stirring frequently. The first response from DH was "This is different" I asked what and he said he liked the sweetness this sauce had. Not too much and not too little. Honestly I would have never guessed that there were anchovy fillets in this recipe because I sure didn't taste them (not that I actually know what they taste like and not sure I care to). I served this over thin whole wheat spaghetti with a salad and garlic bread. Thanks Kelly for a great Marinara Sauce and one I will share with others. Made for PRMR :)

~Nimz~ February 21, 2010