Simple Marinara Sauce Recipe

Marinara sauce
Photo by Christopher Testani / Food styling by Frances Boswell

Courtesy Lidia’s Celebrate Like an Italian (Knopf, 2017)

Restaurant owner and celebrity TV chef Lidia Bastianich shares her secrets for a great dinner party in her latest book, Lidia’s Celebrate Like an Italian. Included is this gem of a sauce that’s easy to make and perfect for any of the recipes featured here.

How to Make a Home-Cooked Italian-American Meal From Scratch


  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 28-ounce can whole San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 leafy stalks fresh basil

In large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic, and cook until edges just turn golden, about 1 minute. Season with red pepper flakes, then add tomatoes. Add 1 cup hot water to tomato can, swirl then add to pan. Bring to simmer, and add salt and basil. Cook until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and discard basil.

Published on March 24, 2018
About the Author
Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen
Entertaining and Lifestyle Editors

Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen are Wine Enthusiast's Entertaining and Lifestyle Editors. DeSimone tastes wine from Israel and the Mediterranean Basin, while Jenssen tastes wine from Eastern Europe, including the former the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. Both co-authored Wines of California, Wines of the Southern Hemisphere, and The Fire Island Cookbook. Wine educators and presenters, both gentlemen serve as frequent guests on national and local television. Email:

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