San Marzano Marinara Tomato Sauce, Italian Recipe (VIDEO)

This is the classic Italian marinara sauce. It’s a simple, light, fresh tomato sauce, made from San Marzano tomatoes and fresh basil. You can use this sauce for everything from spaghetti and meatballs to ravioli made from fresh pasta to a base for your Sunday gravy. In this cooking video, I serve it over strozzapreti, also known as choke the priest pasta.

Why is it called choke the priest pasta? In the small towns in Italy like my mother’s village of Mirabella Eclano, they’d have a big meal after mass every Sunday where the whole family would gather. The local priest, he’s a connected guy, so he knows who the good cooks are and he knows they’re gonna welcome him for their big Sunday dinner. So he goes once, he goes twice, he goes three times and by the fourth time, they serve strozzapreti. And if they don’t kill him, he’s gonna get the hint that he overstayed his welcome.

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Follow the complete recipe at

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