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Italian Sauces A Cook Should Know

by jughandle
Red sauce

There are 5 basic “mother” sauces in French cooking.  From those basic sauces, there are hundreds of variations, some classics.  I’m going to give you recipes for 8 Italian sauces.

  1. Classic Marinara
  2. Pesto
  3. Bolognese
  4. Marcella
  5. Vodka
  6. Red Clam
  7. Alfredo
  8. Ragu
5 from 1 vote
Pin Recipe

Classic Marinara Sauce

Makes 3 1/2 cups of basic Marinara sauce, enough for 1 lb of pasta
Course Sauce
Cuisine Italian
Keywords Marinara Sauce
Cooking Method saute, Stove Top
Hot/Cold Dish Hot
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author jughandle

What You Will Need:

  • 28 ounces tomatoes - Can of whole San Marzano tomatoes certified D.O.P. if possible
  • ¼ cup olive oil - extra-virgin
  • 7 cloves garlic - peeled and slivered
  • 1 whole chile - whole chopped and crushed or a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt - kosher
  • 1 sprig basil - Fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, more to taste

Equipment Needed:

  • large frying pan



  • Pour tomatoes into a large bowl and crush with your hands.
  • Pour 1 cup water into can and slosh it around to get tomato juices. Reserve.

In a Large Skillet

  • Do not use a deep pot, over medium heat, heat the 1/4 c of olive oil.
  • When it is hot, add the garlic.
  • As soon as garlic is sizzling (do not let it brown), add the tomatoes from the reserved bowl, then add the tomato water.
  • Add whole chile or red pepper flakes, oregano (if using) and salt. Stir.
  • Place basil sprig, including stem, on the surface (like a flower). Let it wilt, then submerge in sauce.
  • Simmer sauce until thickened and oil on surface is a deep orange, about 15 minutes.
  • If using oregano, taste sauce after 10 minutes of simmering, adding more salt and oregano as needed.
  • Discard basil and chile (if using).


Nutrition Facts
Classic Marinara Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 191 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Sodium 845mg37%
Potassium 603mg17%
Carbohydrates 16g5%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 453IU9%
Vitamin C 20mg24%
Calcium 77mg8%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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