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How We Make Our Masterful Marinara Sauce

Stephanie Golub
Nov 11, 2022

Are you a vodka, puttanesca, arrabbiata, Pomodoro, or Sunday sauce family? If we had to pick, we’d say we’re marinara people. Whatever your signature red is, you really can’t go wrong. 

The History of Marinara

Like any iconic recipe, virtually every country in the world has crafted its own iteration. If we’re talkin’ traditional marinara, it’ll take us back to 16th-century Italy. The age-old debate as to what region the sauce got its start is slightly trickier to track down. European natives swear marinara comes from Naples or Sicily, sometime around when tomatoes were brought over by Spanish conquistadors. Marinara’s name, however, has a more clear cut origin. It directly translates to the Italian word for “of the sailor.” Some argue that it got its name from its inception on the Italian coast, while others believe it to be because of how well it pairs with seafood. Either way, we wholeheartedly thank whoever whipped it up first! 

When we were considering the key ingredients for our own marinara, we wanted to focus on the signature flavor while including stealthy nutrition. Don’t worry, we’re sharing our little secret: we snuck in four veggies, including butternut squash and cauliflower! 

How to Make Our Masterful Marinara 

Recipe by Sam Lopane

Equipment needed: Food processor or blender, chef's knife, cutting board, measuring cup, oven, sheet pan, sauce pan


2 28oz Cans of whole tomatoes 

2 Cups of Butternut squash (diced)

2 Carrots (peeled)

2 Cups of Cauliflower (diced)

¼ Cup of olive oil

10 Cloves of garlic (sliced)

1 Pinch of red pepper flakes

2 Tsp of sea salt

2 Sprigs of fresh basil

1 Sprig fresh oregano 

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Heat Oven to 400F.
  2. Cut Butternut squash and cauliflower in half. Save half the cauliflower and butternut squash for a future day, and drizzle the other halves with olive oil, coating all surfaces and place on a sheet tray. Trim and peel carrots, drizzle with olive oil and place on sheet tray with cauliflower and butternut squash.
  3. Roast vegetables for 45 minutes in the oven at 400F until falling about and very soft.
  4. Meanwhile, open cans of tomatoes into a bowl. Using your hands, crush the tomatoes then rinse the cans with 1 cup water each and add to the bowl.
  5. In a saucepan or pot over medium heat, add olive oil. Add garlic to pan, and let cook for 60 seconds, stopping just before it begins to brown.
  6. Add red pepper flakes, cook for 15 seconds, then add tomatoes and juices and stir to incorporate, mashing any bits of tomatoes with a wooden spoon.
  7. Once the vegetables have finished roasting, scoop out the flesh of the butternut, and add to a blender or food processor along with the cauliflower and carrots. Process until a fine puree is achieved.
  8. Add the pureed vegetables from the blender into the sauce pan along with the tomatoes.
  9. Stir to combine all ingredients, then simmer the sauce on low, and add a sprig of fresh basil and oregano.
  10. Let the flavors marry and the sauce thicken for 20 minutes, while simmering. If a thicker sauce is desired, simmer for longer, and for a thinner sauce add additional water.

The Perfect Pairing 

Pretty much anything plus marinara is a match made in heaven. As far as food goes, you can’t go wrong with spaghetti and meatballs, eggplant parmesan, or mussels marinara. Our sauce’s hint of honey and zingy lemon zest pair wonderfully with a dry Pinot Noir. If non-alcoholic is more your speed, a fruit-flavored seltzer should quench your thirst. 

Dessert is another big (but delicious) decision. You can knock your dinner out of the park with panettone dipped in espresso. If you’re searching for a classic Sicilian dessert, a couple cannoli will definitely do the trick. 

Feeling saucy? If so, spice up Italian night with our Masterful Marinara. If you do use our recipe, tag us on social so we can repost your creation! If time is of the essence, we’ve got you covered with our own eats. Sample the sauce in our Protein-Packed Chicken Parm, Cauliflower Shell Beef Bolognese, or Sausage Baked Penne


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How We Make Our Masterful Marinara Sauce