San Marzano Marinara Tomato Sauce, Italian Recipe – Gianni’s North Beach

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.

Follow the complete recipe at
Music by David Molina:
Video by Hungry Village:

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  1. I swear to God Gianni…you brought me back to my childhood & family in New York…everything I ever heard spoken and done in the kitchen I heard from you today! Grazie!

  2. that’s such good cooking… (having just come from another guy’s video where he was throwing onions, dried basil and God only knows what else into his shitmix).

  3. Beautiful job Gianni….My family comes from a village an hour from Naples and this is precisely how we prepare this dish! The aroma and taste of this dish is unbelievable. Greetings from Ottawa Canada.


    Gianni Abbenda

  4. Gianni, I was watching Moonstruck tonight & this dish would have been the perfect accompaniment! I have all the ingredients to makes this except the special olive oil. Thank you & I’m looking forward to watching your YouTube video in June! 😊🌼Joanie

  5. OMG I’ve got tears – that looks amazing – so making it, but the tomatoes are picked green and ripened off the vine here in winter. Great for the summer harvest ones.

  6. You’re awesome! Thank you for sharing your heritage’s tastes. I’ve made a few of your recipes and I look forward to making them over and over again. I’m lucky to find San Marzano tomatoes at a local store near Mount Prospect, Il. They really are DOPE! Take care my friend.

  7. Perfection!!! I just read in one of your comments that when you’re in Northern Jersey, you go to the Paterson farmer’s market. Do you ever go to Corrado’s? You’d love it. Have a great night!

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