||It has been suggested that this article be merged with Neapolitan sauce. (Discuss) Proposed since April 2013.|
A plate of ravioli alla marinara
|Place of origin||Italy|
|Region or state||Naples|
|Serving temperature||Hot over pasta|
|Main ingredient(s)||Tomatoes, garlic, onions, basil|
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Marinara (mariner's) sauce is a southern Italian tomato sauce usually made with tomatoes, garlic, herbs, and onions. Its many variations can include the addition of capers, olives and spices.
Traditional southern Italian cuisine uses this sauce to add flavor to pasta, rice, seafood and pizza. This sauce is also widely used in Italian-American cuisine, which has diverged significantly from its Old World origins.
Italians refer to marinara sauce only in association with other recipes. For instance, spaghetti alla marinara literally translates to "spaghetti mariner's style" (from the adjective marinara with the feminine suffix -a pertaining to salsa, Italian for sauce), but tomato sauce alone in Italy is called sugo/salsa al/di pomodoro or pomarola.
At least two folk theories are given as to the origin of this sauce: One says cooks aboard Neapolitan ships invented marinara sauce in the mid-16th century after Spaniards introduced the tomato (a New World fruit) to Europe. The original recipe did not contain seafood, so it was resistant to spoilage due to the high acid content of tomatoes. This made it ideal for lengthy sea voyages hundreds of years before refrigeration methods were invented. Another theory states this was a sauce prepared by the wives of Neapolitan sailors upon their return from sea. An Australian folk theory accounts that seafood marinara sauce was the first tomato-based pasta sauce popularized in the US, and with the explosion in popularity of Italian cuisine, the name "marinara sauce" became a misnomenclature for Neapolitan sauce or salsa Napolitana. In Australia, where it has been introduced by Italian Australians, marinara sauce always includes seafood ('marine'), except at the American fast food chain Subway.
Historically, however, the first Italian cookbook to include tomato sauce, Lo Scalo alla Moderna (The Modern Steward), was written by Italian chef Antonio Latini and was published in two volumes in 1692 and 1694. Latini served as the Steward of the First Minister to the Spanish Viceroy of Naples. This early tomato sauce was more like a modern tomato salsa. 
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