Easy and Delicious Marinara Pasta Sauce

Well, we have heard a lot from Greg so I thought it was time for me (Jen) to give this blogging a go.  I have had a lot of people ask me how to make sauce.  Growing up in an Italian family this was a staple in our house.  I didn’t even know until college that most people buy pasta sauce from a jar!  Sorry, but… yuck.

I am by no means an expert cook but I have had many very talented woman in my life that have taught me a lot.  Until recently everything I know has been taught to me by my nonna (grandma), my mother and my mother-in-law, who are all incredibly talented in the kitchen.

Even though my Mom isn’t Italian she learned from the best Italian cook (my nonna) how to prepare all of my Dad’s favorite Italian meals.  In the beginning of their marriage she made all the foods she grew up eating – good Ohio cuisine.  This consisted of meat and potato cooking such as meat loaf and casseroles.  Don’t get me wrong, all these foods are delicious… just not to my Dad.  It wasn’t until maybe a year or so of eating this food that my Dad admitted he missed his mother’s cooking and my Mom’s path to creating mouth watering Italian dishes began.  One of the best things she learned from my Nonna was how to prepare Sugo (sauce).  My Nonna’s recipe requires a lot of chopping and it is time consuming to make.  Since I have been living in Como I have had the opportunity to learn from another very talented woman, my Zia (Aunt) Claudia.  She recently taught me a quick and easy way to make delicious sugo with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry and refrigerator.  I hope you enjoy the sauce as much as everyone here enjoys eating it.

Marinara Sauce

This should be enough sauce for one pound of pasta (4 to 5 servings).  I would suggest doubling the recipe and putting half in the freezer.  It will save beautifully for about six months.

Simple ingredients you can find anywhere


>Canned tomatoes – can be whole or chopped (must be San Marzano from Italy)
>Four (4) raw cherry tomatoes
>Two (2) Garlic cloves
>Half (1/2) bouillon cube (a quick shortcut to avoid lots of vegetable chopping)
>Extra virgin olive oil
>One (1) pound of pasta (I recommend Delverde or DeCecco)
>Sea Salt
“Put me to work, Mom!”


>Peel two cloves of garlic
>Cover the base of your pot with extra virgin olive oil.  Heat on a low setting and do not adjust temperature.
>Leave the garlic cloves whole to put in sauce (Italians prefer just a hint of garlic flavor). If you prefer a stronger garlic flavor you can chop or mince the garlic.
>Put the garlic in the pot with the heated olive oil and cook long enough to extract flavors.  Be mindful not to burn.
Garlic should be lightly browned

>Add can of tomatoes (must be San Marzano, which is the region in Italy – there are various brands)

Canned tomatoes
>Dice raw tomatoes and add to sauce
Diced, raw tomatoes
Tomatoes added to pot
>Add half of a vegetable bouillon cube and stir
>Add sea salt (approximately a teaspoon… or Italian style, this much)
About this much salt… adjust based on hand size 🙂
>Remove the garlic and set aside (it gets added again)
>Blend the sauce with a hand mixer
Blend with hand mixture to get the correct consistency
>Place garlic back in pot
>Let sauce simmer over medium-low heat for approximately 30 minutes
>Finish with a dab of butter

>Remove from heat and serve


>Add cold water to the pasta pot with coarse sea salt (my mother always taught me to pour the salt until you finish saying “Father, Son and the Holy Spirit”)
>Boil water as your sauce nears an end
>Place pasta in water
>Cook to a nice al dente – the appropriate time will be listed on the spaghetti package

>Drain pasta water and cover pasta with sauce until it is covered but not drenched

To Serve

>Cover individual pasta serving with sauce
>Drizzle with olive oil
>Add freshly grated parmesan cheese
Buon Appetito

5 thoughts on “Easy and Delicious Marinara Pasta Sauce”

  1. Sounds very yummy! You can make it for me anytime. I would have liked to have been in the kitchen when your Nonna was teaching your mom to cook. I made my own “sugo” last night which required a lot of vegetable chopping and blending after it’s simmered for a fairly long time; Sara said it was delicious.

  2. Fantastic and uncomplicated! Now all I need is to find “a can of tomatoes (must be San Marzano”!!! Thanx! AB

  3. Looks wonderful! Where can we find an assistant like Julia? I’m not sure I can manage without that kind of support! 😉 No, this looks wonderful! Would love to see a tour of the condo! Keep em coming! Love it! Ellen xo

  4. So last night I bought some great bread and great cheese and planned to open a jar of sauce and make some crappy pasta. Well in looking in my pantry I had no sauce but I did have a can of San Marzano tomatoes! I consulted my trusty source for the best recipes…sippingespresso.com and made a delicious sauce. Doug likes spicy so I put a spin on the recipe and made an Arrabiata sauce and it was perfect! Thanks Jen – xoxo

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