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4.5 from 2 votes
Marinara on curly fusilli in a white bowl with a green napkin, bread and sauce pan of sauce near by.
Basic Marinara
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
40 mins
A simple marinara sauce should be part of every cook's repertoire. The key to a good marinara sauce is starting with good ingredients.
Course: Sauces
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Vegetarian, Pasta, Sauces
Servings: 8
Calories: 81 kcal
Author: The Blue Jean Chef, Meredith Laurence
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic sliced
  • pinch hot red pepper flakes
  • 28 ounce crushed canned tomatoes, OR 6 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 3 sprigs each fresh parsley and basil optional
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar or balsamic vinegar optional
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley or basil
  1. Add the olive oil, garlic and hot red pepper flakes to a deep sauté pan or Dutch oven, and then heat the pan over medium heat. Cook gently until the garlic is fragrant, but do not brown.
  2. Add the tomatoes and fresh herb sprigs (if using) and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 20 – 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and sugar or balsamic vinegar if desired (you may find it needs no sweetening.) Remove the herb sprigs and stir in the chopped fresh parsley or basil.

  3. Serve over pasta or in any number of dishes.

Recipe Video