Marinara vs Bolognese- What’s the Difference?

What is the Difference Between Marinara and Bolognese Sauce?

When we think of Italian food, we often think of red sauce. But what exactly is the difference between marinara and bolognese sauce?

Marinara sauce is commonly used in American-style Italian cooking and has its origins in Naples.

It’s a thin tomato sauce with onion, garlic and sometimes red wine vinegar or lemon juice added for tanginess. Marinara sauce is very often served with cooked seafood,

It may also include a small quantity of olive oil for additional flavor, as well as herbs such as oregano or basil. Small pieces of anchovy can also be found in some versions of marinara sauce—but this is optional!

What’s in Marinara Sauce?

Marinara sauce is made from crushed or chopped tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, onion, salt and sometimes a bit of red wine vinegar or lemon juice. Some people like to use crushed tomatoes, while others prefer diced tomatoes.

Crushed tomatoes will result in a thicker sauce, while diced tomatoes make for a thinner sauce. Crushed tomatoes are also less expensive. But what else is in marinara sauce? It’s not uncommon to find a bit of sugar in marinara sauce too.

Sugar helps to balance the acidity of the tomatoes, as well as enhancing the flavor of the sauce. Some people also like to add a bit of tomato paste to their marinara sauce for additional thickness and a richer flavor.

What is Bolognese sauce?

Bolognese sauce is a hearty Italian meat sauce that is said to have been developed in Bologna, Italy. It’s made from chopped meat (ideally, a combination of veal, pork and/or beef), crushed tomatoes, red wine, onions, carrots, celery and a variety of different herbs and spices.

Bolognese sauce is also generally thicker than marinara sauce and often served over pasta or spaghetti. Both are excellent choices for serving with pasta or other Italian dishes, such as lasagna, pizza, etc.

The Difference: Meat and Spices

Both recipes start with a tomato base, but that’s where the similarities end. Where marinara sauce is made with crushed or diced tomatoes, Bolognese sauce is made with whole tomatoes that have been cooked until they fall apart.

This results in a thicker sauce. Bolognese sauce also contains more herbs and spices than marinara sauce. Marjarinara sauce is often seasoned with just salt and pepper while Bolognese sauce can contain as many as five spices.

Summing up

They differ in texture, consistency, ingredients, flavor and colour. Marinara sauce is made with crushed or diced tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, salt and sometimes lemon or red wine vinegar. Bolognese sauce, on the other hand, is made with whole tomatoes, milk, meat and a variety of spices. Both sauces are delicious when served over pasta, lasagna, pizza or even a nice, crusty French bread.

Marinara sauce is a simple tomato-based sauce that is often paired with seafood. Marinara sauce is thin in consistency and has a tangy taste. Bolognese sauce is a meat-based sauce with origins in Bologna, Italy. Bolognese is thick in consistency and has a great taste.