Classic Marinara Sauce Recipe

Favorite Restaurant Sauce Recipe

Use this restaurant recipe for Marinara Sauce as a pasta sauce (no meat pasta), as a soup base, on pizza or as a dip for cheese sticks. It’s delicious and easy to make.

This is an easy but delicious restaurant recipe for this red sauce.

And this restaurant sauce recipe can be used in many different ways and with a large variety of foods.

Now, BEFORE you begin ...

Do not use aluminum pans unless they are hard anodized aluminum. This and other recipes that contain tomatoes will react with aluminum (or is it the other way around?) and cause an off taste.

Also this sauce scorches easily so PLEASE keep it to a simmer. Simmer means to cook gently over low heat (no lid). You should only see tiny bubbles just breaking the surface of the liquid.

Ready! Set! Go!

Marinara Sauce Recipe

Classic Red Sauce Recipe

Preparation time: 20 minutes



  • 1/4 pound of butter (or use olive oil)
  • 1/4 cup chopped garlic
  • 3 1/2 pounds crushed tomatoes
  • One 26 ounce can of tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dry basil (prefer 4 1/2 teaspoons fresh basil)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper



  • Heat a soup pot or stock pot or a very large skillet over medium-low heat
  • When your pan is hot, add butter or oil (butter should "foam up" immediately, but not burn)
  • Add garlic and sauté until garlic is soft and turns white (Don’t burn)
  • Add squeezed tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil and pepper and cook uncovered while stirring until sauce begins to simmer. Leave uncovered and adjust the heat as needed to keep the sauce just simmering (stirring frequently) for about 45 minutes
  • Strain the sauce or puree in a food processor if you prefer  a smooth sauce
  • Correct the seasoning to your taste

Use immediately or refrigerate in shallow pan to cool safely. When the sauce is cool, transfer to a covered container. This sauce freezes well once it is cool.

Remember this sauce can be used in a number of ways. For example:

  • For tomato cream sauce use butter instead of olive oil
  • Add 1 cup of hot heavy cream per quart of sauce
  • Bring to simmer and serve this delicious sauce on pasta


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Enjoy your Marinara Sauce and the company of those you share it with! - Donna

“Sometimes when I'm bored, I fill my bath tub with marinara sauce and sit in it and pretend I'm a meatball.”

Unknown (More like a "meathead," I think)