What makes marinara marinara?

The sauce acquires its characteristic flavor through the addition of garlic, crushed red pepper flakes and herbs such as basil and oregano. So when it comes down to that, how are the two really different? In short, ketchup has much more depth and complexity than marinara sauce, as well as a longer list of ingredients. It's best to think of marinara sauce as a basic form of tomato sauce, especially since its flavor notes, cooking time and ingredient list are short and sweet, according to Paesana. The marinara sauce is also quite fine compared to the thick texture of the tomato sauce.

Marinara sauce can be served with almost any type of pasta and it's also an incredibly pure and flavorful sauce for a number of fried treats. Pizza is a great example of this, as marinara sauce is often used to keep ingredients in place while also giving a light tomato flavor. Marinara sauce and ketchup are often used interchangeably and for clear reasons; the two look and taste quite similar to each other. But when you eat such delicate noodles as bucatini, campanelle and perciatelli (all of which combine exceptionally with tomato-based pasta sauces, according to Food Network), you'll wonder: Is marinara sauce what I eat or tomato? And more importantly, what's the difference between these two popular sauces? The same goes for fried calamari or mozzarella sticks; the marinara sauce will help accentuate the flavor of the dish without robbing it of prominence.

In addition to a rich layer of butter and olive oil, marinara is probably the simplest of all the classic Italian and Italian-American pasta sauces. As for how a particular preparation of tomato sauce came to be known as “marinara”, we must look to the sea. According to the pasta sauce company Paesana, marinara sauce is prepared by combining olive oil, garlic and basil with whole peeled tomatoes (preferably the San Marzano type). If you prefer a deeper flavor, there are simple ingredients you can add to give the marinara more depth.

The exact location of the creation of Marinara Sauce seems to have been lost over time, but it probably first developed in the southern region of Italy, in Naples or Sicily, after tomatoes first appeared in Europe through explorers of the New World in the 16th century.

Jeannette Klingenberger
Jeannette Klingenberger

Proud beer fanatic. Freelance web specialist. Subtly charming tv nerd. Wannabe coffee fan. Subtly charming tv ninja.