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Making marinara sauce with fresh tomatoes is a game-changer. Our secret to infusing it with big flavor? Simmering with sprigs of basil, then finishing with Parmesan and pasta water.

Martha Stewart Living, September 2018


Credit: Marcus Nilsson

Recipe Summary test

25 mins
30 mins
Serves 4 to 6


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until slightly less than al dente, about 2 minutes less than package directions. Reserve 1 cup pasta water, then drain.

  • Meanwhile, heat oil and garlic in a large straight-sided skillet over medium-high until just sizzling, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and basil sprigs; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until reduced to about 2 cups, 8 to 10 minutes. Discard basil.

  • Add pasta and 1/4 cup pasta water; cook, stirring, until pasta is cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add cheese and continue stirring and shaking pan, adding more pasta water as needed to create a creamy sauce. Serve, sprinkled with more cheese, basil leaves, and pepper, and drizzled with oil.