Marjoram Marinara Pasta Sauce

Marjoram Marinara Pasta Sauce beautifully showcases the subtle flavor of Marjoram, called the “Queen of Herbs”.  Related to oregano, marjoram is the “sweet sister” to oregano’s “bold brother”.  Marjoram Marinara Pasta Sauce is very easy to make but does require fresh marjoram; fortunately, marjoram is an easy herb to grow.

Unlike a lot of pasta sauces, Marjoram Marinara Pasta Sauce does not need to be made in a large quantity nor does it require a large time commitment to prepare.  This sauce is best served fresh but you can freeze unused sauce in an airtight container; if used within a week, it will not diminish greatly in flavor.  Particularly suited to filled pastas, like ravioli, tortellini and agnolotti, Marjoram Marinara Pasta Sauce is also delicious with the addition of fried Homemade Italian Meatballs for a real treat over dried cut pasta for dinner.

Marjoram Marinara Pasta Sauce

Prep Time: 15 minutes, Total Time: 40 minutes. Serves: 4

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  • ½ cup fresh Marjoram leaves
  • 3 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Garlic clove, minced
  • 2 Tbs minced Shallot
  • ¼ tsp Coarse Sea Salt*, if using salted butter, see below, omit the sea salt.
  • ½ tsp Sweet Paprika
  • 1 ½ cups Crushed Tomatoes or diced very ripe Roma Tomatoes
  • 2 Tbs Unsalted Butter*
  • 3 oz Pasta per person

Marjoram Marinara Pasta Sauce


  1. Remove the marjoram leaves from their stems by gently pulling backward from the growing tip to the base of the stem. Collect the leaves in a small bowl and discard the stems.
  2. Pour the extra virgin olive oil into a 2-quart saucepan and set over a medium heat.
  3. Add the minced shallot and garlic to the saucepan and sauté until softened but not browned.
  4. Add the sea salt and sweet paprika to the saucepan, stir and continue to sauté for 1 minute.
  5. Add the tomatoes and marjoram to the saucepan, stir and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.
  6. If adding fried Homemade Italian Meatballs to the sauce, do so now and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
  7. Add the butter to the sauce, cover and remove from the heat just as the butter begins to melt.
  8. Keep Marjoram Marinara Pasta Sauce covered and warm. Stir the melted butter into the sauce when ready to use.
Marjoram Marinara Pasta Sauce

Marjoram Marinara Pasta Sauce with Homemade Italian Meatballs


  • If using salted butter, omit the sea salt.