Marinara Sauce Recipe
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A Sicillian marinara sauce recipe is the epitome of the saying that less is more. Crushed tomatoes, garlic and basil combine for a sauce that is delicious on spaghetti or in lasagna.  Serve the sauce with a side of garlic pull apart bread and a tossed salad with Italian dressing for a family meal. This marinara sauce recipe freezes well so make a big pot and save some for later.

Marinara Sauce Recipe | Growing Up Gabel @thegabels #recipes

This week's Sunday Supper is all about sauce! I have been on a hunt for a good homemade marinara sauce for what seems like forever.  I'm pretty sure I've tried almost every recipe variation you can find on the internet and nothing turned out the way I wanted it to.  And then one day it occurred to me to ask an Italian mama to help me learn how to make “sauce” and she did! It tuns out that I was probably overdoing it and adding too much to what should be a very simple recipe.

This is a Sicillian marinara sauce because recipe it basically only uses tomatoes, garlic and basil.  Sicillians only add oregano if you want to turn the sauce in to pizza sauce. I generally start the sauce in the morning and let it simmer until lunch.  This is definitely one dish that gets better with time so make it a day ahead or even freeze it for later.

Sicillian Marinara Sauce Recipe


  • 2 large cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cans tomato paste
  • 1 head of garlic, finely diced
  • Olive oil
  • Pinch of hot pepper flakes
  • 1-2 Tablespoons sugar
  • Dried or fresh basil


  1. Cover the bottom of a very large pot with a thin layer of olive oil. Heat over medium heat.
  2. Open all the cans of tomatoes.
  3. When oil is warmed, add garlic and saute for just a few minutes. Be careful NOT to burn it!
  4. Add all tomatoes. Fill each empty can of tomatoes with water and add to the pot. You will add 4 total - 2 from the crushed tomatoes and 2 from the paste.
  5. Raise heat to high.
  6. Add in hot pepper flakes, sugar and dried basil to taste. If using fresh, add at the very end of the cooking time.
  7. Bring sauce to a boil and then turn down heat. Simmer for 4 hours.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving As Served
Calories 975kcal Calories from fat 234
% Daily Value
Total Fat 26g 40%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Sodium 4805mg 200%
Carbohydrate 182g 61%
Dietary Fiber 37g 148%
Sugars 111g
Protein 36g

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

Calories 2000
Total Fat Less than 65g
Sat Fat Less than 25g
Cholesterol Less than 300mg
Sodium Less than 2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate 300g
Dietary Fiber 25g
Marinara Sauce Recipe
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Don't forget to check out the rest of the Sunday Supper crew's sauce recipes!

Savory Sauces

Pasta Sauces and Pastas with Sauce

Entreés with Sauces

Sweet Sauces

Desserts with Sauces

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44 comments on “Sicillian Marinara Sauce Recipe

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  4. I’m loving all the delicious and simple pasta sauces this week! Your marinara sounds wonderful.

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  6. This is such a simple, perfect marinara sauce. And it would be wonderful with that garlic pull apart bread you suggest…yum!

  7. Oh yes, this is the perfect marinara sauce 🙂 – Yum!!!!!

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  11. Nothing better than a good marinara sauce and I think you nailed it!!! So simple but you need the right ratio!

  12. This sounds exactly like something my stepbrother would love… he adores spicy food

  13. It’s also a Sicilian sauce because there’s sugar in it. That’s how my mom always said you can spot a Sicilian. Always listen to those Italian mamas; they know their stuff. 😉

  14. Just want to dig right into that pasta! I’ve started making my own pasta sauce and I love this recipe as well!

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  16. I am a firm believer of less is more. Your marinara sauce sounds delicious and full of flavor! It would be great on pasta and homemade pizzas!

  17. So simple and yummy! My family would adore this pasta topper!

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  19. I wish I had an Italian mama to refer to. And yes, my experience with Italian food confirms your suspicions of less is more. Your marinara looks delicious. Thank you for participating this week.

  20. I am all for simple and easy sauce recipes! I think simpler is better!

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  22. I love the simplicity of this sauce. Just let those lovely flavors sing!!

  23. One of my favorite sauces! It looks delicious!

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  25. I love how easy this looks…..easy and delicious!! Thanks for sharing! Happy Sunday!

  26. Yum!1 Your marinara sauce looks delish!!!!!!!!!

  27. Yes…simple is best! My pasta sauce this week has 7 ingredients and is so full of flavor. Doesn’t the house smell great when a good pasta sauce is simmering? Saving this one…

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  29. You know, I have never made a marinara sauce the same way twice. I am so looking forward to trying your version!

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  35. Simple is best when it comes to tomato sauce in my book. This is a prefect sauce. Fresh, simple, perfect ingredients. Yum!!

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  38. So often less is more. I need to get better at remembering that, Camille. Thanks for the reminder and this beautiful sauce.

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  40. Hi Camille

    Do the garlic have to be diced or could I just use a garlic press for the garlic.

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  43. Hi Camille, nice to meet you. I enjoyed cooking from your blog. It worked out so well with me needing a marinara sauce and you supplying it. It was easy and good to eat. It was a pleasure making and eating it.