Italian Regional Recipes Primi Piatti: Pasta, Rice, Soups

Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce

Marinara sauce is one of the simplest pasta sauce there could be: only garlic, dried oregano and EVOO all combined in a tomato sauce or fresh tomatoes. This sauce comes from Campania, a Southern Italian region that is indeed famous for its exceptionally good tomatoes.

Marinara Sauce was born in the 1700s and afterwards also gave birth to the namesake Pizza Marinara which, needless to say, has the same ingredients.
It must be said that this sauce has nothing to do with the sea itself and its seafood although the name may be misleading as it contains the Italian word Mare –  Sea in English.
The Neapolitan sailors (Marinai, in Italian) left for long journeys across the sea, they needed to bring with them ingredients that would have last over time and easy to find, namely tomato, garlic and oregano to fill their flat breads.

For this reason, Marinara Sauce has to do with sailors (Marinai) and not with seafood.


Serves: 4 | Preparation time: 5 mins | Cooking time: about 20 mins

Method

Peel and finely slice the garlic cloves to brown in a pan with 4 tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

When the oil starts to sizzle, add peeled tomatoes by crushing them with a fork or just add tomato sauce, season to taste with salt and pepper, cook for about 15-20 minutes over medium-high flame, add a tbsp dried oregano halfway through.

Meantime cook spaghetti in a boiling salted water, drain them  al dente – means drain them a couple of mins before the standard cooking. Add spaghetti to the tomato sauce, stir well.

Serve warm, topped with a drizzle of olive oil, and another pinch of dried oregano.

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