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Melissa Jo’s Marinara

This marinara sauce is the kind of sauce that makes your kids come home to visit no matter what their age and how long they’ve been married! Master this sauce and you’ll be holding all of the family dinners for your kids and grandkids for years to come! I’ve mastered this over the years and THIS IS IT! A beautiful marinara sauce smothered with Pecorino Romano cheese and served over your favorite pasta. Melissa Jo’s Marinara…MUST MAKE!

melissa jos marinara sauce
melissa jo's marinara sauce
marinara and basil



The best Marinara Sauce!!! SO GOOD! Recipe attached #italianrecipe #marinara #sauce

♬ Melissa Jos Marinara – Mealtime with Melissa

melissa jo's marinara
marinara sauce ingredients
melissa jo's marinara sauce

Melissa Jo’s Marinara

Melissa Jo


  • 1 lb. of pasta I used linguini
  • 3-4 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
  • 28 oz. can of San Marzano peeled tomatoes
  • 28 oz. can of San Marzano crushed tomatoes
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 7-8 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 tsp a pinch of sugar
  • 2 tbsp. of tomato paste
  • 8 oz 2 large handfuls of fresh basil
  • 1/2 glass of red wine
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp Italian herbs to taste
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder to taste
  • 2 tbsp salt & pepper to taste
  • small hunk of Pecorino Romano cheese
  • Grated Pecorino Romano cheese as much as you want to serve with


  • Start a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Once it’s boiling add a good amount of salt then add your pasta. Boil til’ al dente and once it’s done set aside until sauce is done.
  • add olive oil to a large pan with high sides and heat up at medium high heat
  • at about a medium heat sauté the onions with crushed red pepper, black pepper, and salt
  • once the onions are translucent add the tomato paste and sauté together for about 1 minute or so
  • add the fresh garlic and sauté 1 minute (don’t burn it!)
  • deglaze pan with the red wine and allow the alcohol to cook out of it (about a couple minutes or so)
  • add the peeled tomatoes to the pan and crush and break up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon
  • bring to a boil
  • add the seasonings & sugar and then lower to a simmer (simmer for about 5-10 minutes)
  • after about 10 minutes of simmering TASTE THE SAUCE …then add more seasonings as needed
  • add the crushed tomatoes
  • fill the can halfway with water and add the water to the sauce then bring back to a boil
  • add a small hunk of Pecorino Romano cheese then lower to a simmer
  • TASTE again…add seasoning as needed
  • simmer on low covered up halfway (some air should be getting in the pan) add water as needed. Simmer for about 30-45 minutes
  • When the sauce is nearly complete add the fresh basil and cook 5 minutes more
  • add the linguini to the sauce and toss together
  • drizzle a little olive oil over the dish then smother with grated pecorino Romano cheese
  • Enjoy the BEST dinner EVER! Mangia! Mangia!


  • Taste your food: You have to taste the sauce and check for seasoning. Add more salt & pepper, oregano, etc.  to your liking! This is an important step! YOU MUST LAYER the seasonings! AND make this sauce your own!
  • Serve with: Serve with crusty Italian bread, thin spaghetti or linguini,  &  a simple garden salad with Italian dressing
  • Sugar: add a pinch of sugar to the sauce. This is an important step! It cuts the acidity and it’s the old school way. Old school is the best school. My mom & grandma taught me this!
  • Family Secret: Pecorino Romano Cheese: add a small hunk of Pecorino Romano cheese into the sauce while it’s simmering. It’ll disintegrate and add tremendous flavor. If there is a little hunk left you can remove or serve to the lucky guest!
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over the finished dish before adding the pecorino Romano grated cheese….SO decadent and amazing! The perfect finisher!
  • Cookware: You need is a great skillet with high sides. You will make your sauce in this pan and then add the linguini to the sauce and toss it together. Here’s my favorite that goes stovetop to oven: https://amzn.to/3cqBjZL 
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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