Marinara Sauce vs Spaghetti Sauce

By | December 18, 2019

Many of us might already familiar with the term marinara and spaghetti sauce. Somehow there is a confusion regarding these term, some people thought that marinara and spaghetti sauce is the same, while in fact it is not completely wrong. But there is a clear definition that spaghetti sauce is sauces served with spaghetti while Marinara is one type of spaghetti sauce. In this article we will try to explain about marinara and spaghetti sauce and how are they differs from each other.

Marinara Sauce

Marinara sauce is a tomato-based sauce originated from Italy especially in Naples. Marinara is commonly made with tomatoes, garlic, herbs, and onions. Marinara have many variants added into the original recipe such as, capers, olives, spices and a dash of wines. Marinara sauce is often served in Italian-American cuisine, which was greatly diverged from its Old World origins. In Italy people used the word marinara only when used in a recipe. For example spaghetti alla marinara, which means spaghetti mariner’s style. While tomato sauce is called sugo or salsa. There is also the term spaghetti marinara, the cuisine is very popular in Australia and New Zealand, the sauce used is indeed marinara but already modified by adding fresh seafood into it. There is no clear version on how the sauce was first invented or where it comes from. Some people said that a cook from Neapolitan ships invented the marinara sauce in the mid-15th century when he came back from America after Spaniards introduced the tomato to Europe. Another story said it was prepared by a Neapolitan sailors wives to celebrate their return from the sea.

The only thing cleared enough is the first book contains tomato sauce recipe written by an Italian chefs named Antonio Latini, which was published in 1692 and 1694. Latini was the Steward of the First Minister to the Spanish Viceroy of Naples. The tomato sauce that time is very similar to today’s tomato salsa. Here is an authentic recipe for marinara sauce. First prepare all the required ingredients such as; 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes in puree, 10 cloves medium garlic, 1 large chopped Spanish onion, ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, 1 cup fresh coarsely chopped basil, 1 cup fresh chopped parsley, 2 bay leaves, and 1 pinch baking soda. After all the needed ingredients is ready it is time to cook the sauce. Sauté garlic and onion in a large pan with medium heat until the onion is translucent, and then pour the canned tomato, black pepper, and bay leaves. Let the mixture to simmer for about 30 minutes to reduce the liquid and intensify the taste while stirring it occasionally. Then add basil and parsley and continue to simmer and stir occasionally for about two hours. After two hours, taste the sauce, if it is too acidic for your taste, add the baking soda or you can also replace it with sugar. Remove and toss the bay leaves before serving or storing.

Spaghetti Sauce

Spaghetti sauce is just like the name, it means the sauce served with spaghetti. Sauce is a thickened liquid made from various ingredients that is used to moisten and add flavor into a dish or food similar to salad dressing. Spaghetti sauce can have many different consistency, it can be light, medium, or heavy depends on the ingredients and how the sauce was cooked. Commonly lighter sauce is used to serve thinner and flatter pasta. While thicker sauce is suitable served with thicker and larger pasta including fettuccine and linguine.

There are many traditional sauces which is very common and well known around the world, for example. Alfredo, it is a rich white sauce made with heavy cream, butter, freshly grated parmesan cheese and fresh ground black pepper. The most famous pasta to be served with Alfredo sauce is fettuccine. Bologna, it is a red ragu made with finely chopped meats, onions, carrots, celery, and little wine. Sometimes tomato is included in a small amount and some cream might be added to lighten its red color. Carbonara, is a white sauce made from eggs, cream, parmesan cheese and little bacon. Marinara, it is the red traditional sauce and seasoned with lots of onions, garlic, and oregano. Neapolitan, it is the traditional sauce originated from Naples. Made from tomatoes, onion, garlic, herbs, and spices.

Marinara SauceSpaghetti Sauce
- Is one type of spaghetti sauce- The term used to call many type of spaghetti sauces
- Originated from Naples- It has many variants and originated from many places
- Made mostly with tomato- It is made with various main ingredients including tomato, cheese, meats, etc


Like it has been said above both marinara and spaghetti sauce is not exactly the same thing. Marinara is one type of spaghetti sauce while spaghetti sauce is the general term refers to sauces served with spaghetti or pasta. You may call marinara as spaghetti sauce but spaghetti sauce is not always marinara. People have different taste and choices of pasta and also their favorite spaghetti sauce. And nowadays people can remake their preferred sauce combined with various ingredients to create a new variants of spaghetti sauce. So you don’t have to stick with only one or two type of sauce.

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