Red Sauce How Italian Food Became American

Leone’s Marinara Sauce

By on Tuesday, February 8th, 2022 at 8:47 am | 731 views

Mama Leone’s was one of the earliest red sauce restaurants operating from a family living before moving into a 1,200 seat palace in Times Square.

Marinara was simple red sauce used for the base of many of Leone’s more complex sauces, dishes, vegetables, or served over spaghetti.

This recipe is adapted from a 1967 cookbook produced after the restaurant was sold to Restaurant Associates.


6 tablespoons oil
¼ cup butter
3 large garlic cloves
16 fresh parsley sprigs
6 cups peeled tomatoes
1 tablespoon oregano
8 anchovy fillets
2 tablespoons tomato paste.


Heat oil and butter.
Add garlic and parsley.
Cook for five minutes.
Add salt and pepper.
Drain tomatoes and dice.
Add tomatoes and oregano
Cook slowly for 30 minutes.
Add anchovies and tomato paste.
Stir and remove from heat.
Serve over cooked pasta.

Read all about this and other historic sauces in Red Sauce: How Italian Food Became American.