Italian Pasta Recipes


Pasta alla marinara is one of the most typical of Naples, provided you agree on what is meant by marinara.

In fact, very different dishes are called marinara.

Also because outside of Campania and its surroundings, many fish-based first courses are often defined as “alla marinara”.

But there is no fish in pasta alla marinara, not even anchovies in oil.

The name has nothing to do with the products of the sea, but with the ingredients that sailors used to bring on board in order to cook themselves some pasta or pizza during the long sea voyages.

Ingredients that did not have to perish easily and had to cost very little, such as homemade tomato puree, garlic and dried oregano.


Tomato sauce should consist of pulp only.

As an alternative to peeled tomatoes, fresh tomatoes are obviously excellent, including cherry tomatoes.

Hot pepper is, as always, optional, but it must be said that even great chefs are divided between those who prefer it, and those who instead opt for a good grinding of pepper.

Garlic, on the other hand, is irreplaceable. It can be reduced a little, but pasta alla marinara does not exist without garlic: if you do not like it, it is better to go for something else.





  • 360 g (12 oz) of spaghetti or your favorite pasta
  • 400 g (14 oz) of peeled tomato pulp (canned peeled tomatoes)
  • 2 or 3 cloves of garlic
  • Chilli pepper
  • Oregano
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • parsley (optional)
  • salt for pasta water
  • a pinch of salt in the tomato



Slice the garlic and brown it very slowly, over very low heat, in a large pan with 5 tablespoons of oil.

Pour in the tomato pulp and season with a generous pinch of oregano and a small piece of chili pepper.


Raise the heat to a simmer, stirring constantly.

Then lower the heat to just enough to simmer gently and let it cook without the lid for 10 minutes.

Drain the pasta al dente and pour it into the pan, add a tablespoon of chopped parsley and sauté over high heat for a minute.

If necessary, add a couple of tablespoons of cooking water.

Pasta alla marinara should be served hot, without adding cheese.


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