Folklore states that cooks aboard Neapolitan ships invented marinara sauce in the mid-16th century after the Spaniards introduced the tomato from America to Europe. The original recipe was resistant to spoilage due to the high acid content of the tomatoes. This made it ideal for lengthy sea voyages hundreds of years before refrigeration methods were invented. Historically, the first Italian cookbook to include tomato sauce was Lo Scalco alla Moderna (The Modern Steward), written by Italian chef, Antonio Latini, and was published in two volumes in 1692 and 1694. This early tomato sauce was more like a modern tomato salsa.
Today, the sauce is usually made with tomatoes, garlic, herbs and onions. Its many variations can include the addition of capers, olives and spices and it is occasionally sweetened with a dash of red wine. This sauce is widely used in Italian-American cuisine, which has greatly diverged from its Old World origins.
Keep your freezer or pantry stocked and you’ll always be minutes away from a great, easy meal. Visit this link for my homemade marinara recipe or use your favorite brand.
For Breakfast or Lunch:
Marinara Baked Eggs
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- 4 eggs
- Shaved Parmesan cheese, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Warm marinara sauce; pour 1/4 cup into each of four lightly greased 6-ounce ramekins.
Top each with 1 egg. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until the egg white is set and the yolk is thickened.
Sprinkle with shaved Parmesan cheese. Serve crusty bread on the side.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, quartered or sliced
- 3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper (1 medium)
- 1/3 cup finely chopped onion (1 small)
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, crushed
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- 1 ¼ pounds uncooked ground turkey breast
- Four ½ inch slices of Italian bread, toasted (optional)
- 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (2 ounces)
In a 3 1/2 to 4-quart saucepan, heat oil and add ground turkey. Cook until brown.
Add mushrooms, bell pepper, onion, Italian seasoning, salt and black pepper. Cook until vegetables are tender.
Pour marinara sauce over all. Cover and cook on low-heat for 1 hour.
Heat the broiler
Pour stew into 4 individual ovenproof bowls. Top with a slice of bread and sprinkle each with mozzarella cheese. Place under the broiler until the cheese begins to melt. Serve immediately.
You can also skip the bread and just top the hot stew with mozzarella cheese.
Pizza Stuffed Potatoes
- 4 medium russet potatoes
- Olive oil
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup pre-cooked additions, such as chopped bell pepper, chopped mushrooms, crumbled Italian sausage or chopped ham
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano or Italian seasoning
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- 8 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese
- Sliced olives, optional
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Scrub potatoes thoroughly with a brush; pat dry. Prick potatoes with a fork and rub with olive oil. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes or until tender.
Split each potato in half lengthwise. Carefully scoop out the flesh of each potato, leaving a 1/4-inch-thick shell. Place in a baking dish sprayed with olive oil cooking spray.
In a bowl mash scooped-out potato flesh; add 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, 1 cup desired fillings and 2 teaspoon dried oregano or Italian seasoning.
Spoon 1/4 cup marinara sauce into the bottom of each shell; divide the potato mixture evenly among the shells. Sprinkle each potato half with 1 teaspoon grated Parmesan cheese.
Bake about 15 minutes or until heated through. Garnish with sliced olives, if desired.
Italian Style Pot Roast
- One 3 pound boneless beef chuck pot roast
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon fennel seed, toasted and crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed, cored and cut into thin wedges
- 3 medium carrots, cut in 2-inch lengths (1-1/2 cups)
- 1 large onion, cut into thin wedges (1 cup)
- 3 1/2 cups marinara sauce
- 2 cups hot cooked penne pasta
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
- Grated Parmesan cheese
Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees F.
Trim fat from the meat.
In a small bowl, combine garlic salt, fennel seed and pepper; rub into the roast on all sides.
In a 5-quart Dutch Oven heat oil and brown the roast on all sides. Remove to a plate.
Place the fennel, carrot and onion in the bottom of the pot and and place the roast on top.
Pour the marinara sauce over the roast Bring liquid to simmer over medium heat, then place a large piece of foil over the pot and cover tightly with the lid; transfer the pot to the oven.
Cook, turning the roast every 30 minutes until fully tender and a meat fork or sharp knife easily slips in and out of the meat, about 3 1/2 to 4 hours.
Toss the cooked pasta with parsley and place on a serving platter. Slice the roast. Place the sliced pot roast slices and vegetables on the plate with the pasta.
Pour the sauce over all and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve.
Marinara Poached Chicken
Serve this dish with cooked pasta, mashed potatoes or couscous.
- 3 cups marinara sauce
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- Salt & Pepper
- Grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh basil for garnish
Pour marinara sauce into a large, deep skillet with a cover; warm over medium heat.
Sprinkle skinless, boneless chicken breast halves with salt and ground black pepper. Add to the skillet and turn to coat in the sauce.
Heat just until beginning to boil; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 10 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center and a meat thermometer reaches 165 degrees F.
Top with grated Parmesan cheese and basil before serving.
September 8, 2015 at 10:10 am
Jovina, which recipe do I try first? You’ve really hit a homerun with this post! They all look wonderful, and answer that age-old question, “what do I do with a little leftover marinara?”
Thank you for this lovely post!
September 8, 2015 at 10:27 am
Personally I love the baked eggs. Thank you so much for reading and commenting Diane. Much appreciated.
Marisa Franca @ All Our Way
September 8, 2015 at 1:30 pm
I really think that Marinara sauce is a magic elixir. It can make everything taste divine. I love the way you use it — certainly gives me lots of ideas. Thank you for sharing!!
September 8, 2015 at 1:34 pm
There are so many ways to use this sauce that I am sure we can never run out of ideas. Thanks Marisa.
Our Growing Paynes
September 8, 2015 at 2:16 pm
I’ll have to try the baked eggs. I tried a french version and I’m still tweaking but something tells me this one will go better.
For the Love of Cooking
September 9, 2015 at 12:50 pm
Great ideas. Those potatoes are calling my name.
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