Spicy Marinara

If you saw yesterday's post,
was a dinner full of beautiful, delicious food.

It's so great to celebrate on a special day with our friends.
(Really, we love to celebrate any day with them--it can even be just a plain old Tuesday night.)

This year I was responsible for the main course.

Four Cheese Stuffed Ravioli with a Spicy Marinara Sauce and Garlic Roasted Shrimp

It was pretty good, if I do say so  myself.

Today, I wanted to share the Spicy Marinara recipe.
(Don't worry, tomorrow I will be sharing the Four Cheese Stuffed Ravioli
and you can find the Garlic Roasted Shrimp here.)

I started making this recipe a while ago.
It's super easy and so delicious.
It is adapted from one of my favorite chefs, Michael Chiarello, from his cookbook
If you haven't checked out this cookbook, you should.
It is full of super tasty recipes.

Spicy Marinara
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley (flat-leaf)
4 large garlic cloves, minced
4 cups tomato puree (I usually use 2 large cans)
4 large basil leaves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon red-pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 tablespoon dried oregano
pinch of baking soda
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4-1/2 cup water or wine (to thin if it gets to thick)

In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Add the parsley and garlic and cook briefly to release their fragrance.  Add the tomato puree, basil, salt, red-pepper flakes, and other dried herbs.  Simmer, stirring occasionally so that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan, until it is reduced to a sauce-like consistency.  If the sauce thickens too much before the flavors have developed, add a little water or red-wine and continue cooking.

Taste and adjust the seasonings.  If the sauce tastes too acidic, add the baking soda and good for 5 minutes longer.  If it needs more sweetness, add the sugar and cook for 5 minutes longer.  (I usually always add the sugar and the water/wine.)



  1. Did you seriously make the ravioli? Like, from scratch? That's been on my to-do list for probably 8 years.
    I always put some sugar in my sauce - I'm sure it probably wouldn't need it if I bought good canned tomatoes. BUT, the baking soda is definitely new to me. I'll have to remember that.

  2. Sabrina this looks so yummy I love seafood and red sauce together.....I have never added a pinch of baking soda thanks for the tip.