Maialino Marinara from 'Family Table'

This easy marinara forms the base for the lamb bolognese sauce in Michael Romano and Karen Sabiner's Family Table. It can also be used on its own to dress any shape of pasta.

If you don't have a food mill, chop the onion and carrot very fine before you cook them and omit the food-mill step. A food processor will make the sauce too smooth.

Excerpted from Family Table: Favorite Staff Meals from Our Restaurants to Your Home, copyright 2013 by USHG, LLC, and Karen Stabiner. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved. Available wherever books are sold.

Recipe Details

Maialino Marinara from 'Family Table'

Active 25 mins
Total 60 mins
Makes 8 cups


  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup chopped white onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped peeled carrot
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, crushed with your hands, with their liquid
  • 3–4 large fresh basil sprigs


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion, carrot, and garlic and cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent and the carrot is soft, 10 to 15 minutes.

  2. Add the salt, pepper, and sugar, stir in the tomatoes and 1⁄2 cup water, and bring just to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Remove from the heat.

  3. Remove and discard the garlic and pass the sauce through a food mill into a bowl (see headnote). Add the basil sprigs and let the sauce cool to room temperature.

  4. Remove and discard the basil and transfer the sauce to an airtight container. (The sauce can be refrigerated, tightly covered, for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months.)