Quick and easy Italian sausage marinara sauce that will blow you away with great taste. Just follow these simple step by step photo instructions for some great Italian.
Editor’s Note: Originally published April 13, 2010. Updated text and re-edited photos. Please enjoy this wonderful sauce.
A good marinara sauce escapes most people, and the need to get to great requires a long simmer which will scare many people away. Usually, they end up with the discussing jar sauce.
But how about a really good sauce in just about an hour. Plus it is so easy to do.
I based this recipe on several others I have used over the years.
We really like this. I’m going just into the five range but low 5.
Pro Tips: Recipe Notes for Italian Sausage Marinara sauce.
The sausage needs to be one you enjoy. I suggest a sweet Italian sausage, not a hot one. You want to be able to control the heat level.
If you have links, you can remove the casing, cut into pieces, and cook them almost like a meat ball. Or just mash them up and cook like bulk sausage.
You just need to brown the sausage some. Since we are simmering the sauce, it will finish cooking then.
The Tomato Product
I will say it again. Quality matters. If you buy cheap generic products, you will get cheap generic results.
I like to use crushed tomatoes, but you can use an equal amount of diced tomatoes.
The tomato paste adds a huge burst of tomato taste and some very nice sweetness.
This is relatively mild with a heat level of 2-3 if you use 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper. Without that, almost no heat.
If you use hot Italian sausage, the heat can get out of hand quickly. So be careful.
If you use hot Italian sausage, do a taste test before adding any. It can wait to be added to near the end of simmering.
Other Marinara Sauce Recipes
Picture note: pictures may be from other cookings and are used to illustrate the step.
If you have links of Italian sausage, you can cut them into 1-inch pieces, remove the casings, and use them as small meatballs. You can break the links up into ground sausage and use it that way. Or just use Italian ground sausage.
Chop a medium onion and add until the meat is browned and onion slightly brown. It is ok for the meat not to be totally cooked at this point. Add 4 to 5 cloves crushed garlic and let “bloom” for 30 seconds. Remove from heat.
Add 2 teaspoons dried oregano, 2 teaspoons dried basil, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional), 28 oz crushed tomatoes, 6 oz tomato paste, and 6 oz water, and 14 1/2 oz diced tomatoes.
Place back on medium heat until light boil.
Originally published April 13, 2010.