What Is Marinara Sauce?


Marinara sauce is a staple of Italian cooking and can be used to top simple pasta dishes or as a dipping sauce on the side. Hundreds of marinara sauce recipes exist, but all are variations of the same basic combination of ingredients.


  • The name marinara comes from the Italian word "marinaro," which means "seafaring" or "sailor."


  • This simple red sauce was first made for 16th century Italian sailors in Naples upon their return from a voyage at sea.


  • Recipes vary, but a basic marinara sauce is made of tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, basil, salt and pepper. While other pasta sauces contain meats like ground beef or sausage, marinara sauce does not.


  • Food Network chef Giada De Laurentiis adds chopped carrots, celery and onions to her recipe. Other recipes call for herbs such as oregano or parsley.


  • In addition to serving marinara sauce over pastas such as spaghetti and ravioli, it is often used for dipping mozzarella sticks and other finger foods.


  • Because the origin of the word marinara is associated with the sea, many people mistakenly believe the recipe includes seafood, such as anchovies.

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  • Photo Credit Wikimedia Commons
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