Authentic Italian Marinara Sauce

Published by Bonnie on

marinara sauce plateWe lived in southern Italy for three years when our kids were super young (two of them were born there!).  The homemade Italian food, by far, is one of those things you never forget once you’ve been there.   Needless to say, we ate a TON of pasta while we lived there, and it still remains one of our favorite staple foods.

The key difference now though is instead of buying marinara sauce from a jar like my mom did, I end up quickly making my own.  It is really so simple (very similar to our homemade pizza sauce recipe) and yet so yummy.

Just before we moved away from Italy, some good friends gifted us with a cookbook called,  “The Italian Mama’s Kitchen.”  So this recipe is a very slight adaptation from that book.

Authentic Italian Marinara Sauce

Adapted from The Italian Mama's Kitchen.
Course Sauce
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 3 cups
Author Bonnie Hershey


  • 1/4 cup plus 2 TBLspn extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves peeled and finely chopped
  • Freshly ground salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 large cans whole plum tomatoes low salt (or 3 1/3 cups fresh diced tomatoes)
  • 1 handful fresh basil leaves torn into bite-sized pieces
  • Freshly ground parmesan cheese


  • Heat oil in large saucepan over medium.
  • Add onion and saute until soft.
  • Add garlic, salt and pepper. Saute 2 minutes more.
  • Add tomatoes (with juice) and increase heat to med-high.
    If using whole plum tomatoes, break them up slightly in the pan with a wooden spoon.
  • Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer 20-30 minutes, until thickened.
  • Stir in the basil last and serve over any pasta!
  • Top with parmesan cheese (optional).



Bonnie Hershey currently serves as a business and nutrition coach with their business, Hershey Holistic Health. She holds an undergrad degree in education, and a certification in Practical Nutrition from the Northwest Academy of Practical Nutrition. She has over 20 years of leadership experience and enjoys encouraging others in their personal growth.

1 Comment

52 Healthy Eating Tips For Families | Proven Nutrition For Kids · November 5, 2013 at 12:16 pm

[…] Make your own pasta marinara sauce. […]

Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating