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Easy and Delicious Marinara Sauce

Updated: May 22, 2020

Marinara on Penne

If you keep some cans of good quality tomatoes around, and maybe a fresh basil plant, this is an excellent go-to dish for a quick dinner most everyone will love. Set the pasta water to boil and by the time the pasta is strained, this sauce will be done.

The cheese element is something Joe always includes because it naturally adds saltiness and thickens the sauce. If you want to keep this non-dairy, you can skip the cheese, add a little salt and let it cook-down a bit longer to thicken.

If you have a little more time, try Joe's fresh pasta recipe!

Makes 6 Servings


  • One cup of olive oil.

  • One garlic bulb.

  • One can San Marzanno whole peeled tomatoes.

  • 12 basil leaves.

  • 1/2 cup grated pecorino romano.

  • Salt.

  • A dash of sugar.


Set a pot of lightly salted water to heat on the stove for the pasta.

Roughly chop a bulb of garlic.

Pour olive oil into a sauce pan until the bottom is generously covered.

Heat to fry temperature.

Add garlic into the hot oil, stir, turn down heat to medium-low and let it slowly turn golden brown.

Add can of San Marzano peeled tomatoes. Bring to a simmer.

Lightly dust the surface of the sauce with a bit of sugar.

Chop about a dozen leaves of basil and add to sauce.

Add l /2 cup of grated pecorino Romano cheese, (this will provide most of the

needed salt).

Add pasta to boiling water. Usually it is best to cook for a minute less than the package recommends.

Let the sauce cook down on simmer for about 10 more minutes. Test and add salt-to-taste as you go.

Strain pasta. Add to a bowl and add sauce. TIP: If your sauce pan is large enough, you can mix the pasta and sauce right in the pan to avoid more dishes to wash).

Garnish with a sprinkle of freshly chopped basil.

If you like spicy, this is really good with a bit of crushed red pepper.


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