Hollywood Chef Daniele Uditi Shares His Secret Pasta Sauce Recipe

Pizzana chef, Daniele Uditi, known for bringing authentic Neapolitan style cooking to Los Angeles is sharing his secret marinara sauce recipe today that will elevate your home cooking to taste better than takeout. Uditi’s cooking has been quoted as “among the best in the world” by the late legendary restaurant critic Jonathan Gold so you know you’re in for a real treat. With just 8 simple ingredients, this marinara sauce is a recipe you’ll want to add to your grocery list asap.

Pizzana Sauce RecipeQ&A with Daniele Uditi:

What does a typical food day look like for you?
“My day starts very early at 5am. We mix Pizzana’s dough by hand & it’s a critical moment in my day.”

How did you develop this secret recipe?
“I always think about what ingredient can make things pop up. Adding a little fennel powder makes this marinara sauce versatile enough to pair with meat, fish or vegetables. My mom always liked to play with tradition & that’s what I do – I take a great, classic recipe & make it my own with a couple of secret ingredients here & there.”

What are some of your favorite cookbooks?
“I have bunch of books on vegetables & farming. Francis Mallman inspires me – & he’s an expert on cooking with fire.  His Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way is my favorite. Hopefully I’ll get to write my own bread & pizza book one day!”

What are 5 pantry, fridge & freezer items you always have on hand?
“Pantry: dry pasta, Italian bread flour, dry oregano from Sicily, bay leaves, tomato paste
“Fridge: fresh tomato sauce, parmigiano reggiano, fresh mozzarella, eggs, salame, prosciutto or pancetta”
“Freezer: limoncello, Italian gelato, homemade meatball mix, vegetable stock, frozen berries”
“All the ingredients that I keep allow me to make a plate of pasta or whip up a quick snack easily.”

What are your favorite items at Pizzana?
“That is like asking a father which son he likes the most! But, if I had to choose, I would go with Neo-Margherita which is my take on a margherita pizza recreating the flavors & repurposing them in different forms (i.e. basil bread crumbs) & the Cacio e Pepe pizza which is based on the classic Roman pasta dish. I thought, “why not put it on a pizza?””


“The fennel powder gives a sensation of freshness. This marinara sauce is great for your pasta & pizza. You can even add it to your soup for extra flavor. I also use it to make eggs in purgatory – it’s delicious! Or, simply add some to a slice of bread with some fresh herbs!” Daniele Uditi on his secret marinara sauce recipe.

Hollywood Chef Daniele Uditi Shares His Secret Marinara Sauce Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
  • 1 lb. San Marzano tomatoes, canned
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • ⅓ cup fresh oregano, chopped
  • 4 anchovies filets
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp Calabrian chile
  • 1 tsp fennel seed powder (secret ingredient!)
  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  1. In a medium pot, add the oil along with the chopped garlic & anchovies. Cook on medium low heat until the anchovies have dissolved.
  2. Blend the San Marzano tomatoes in a blender & slowly add to the pot, stir & turn up to medium high heat.
  3. Keep stirring & add the chopped oregano, salt, fennel powder & Calabrian chile.
  4. Let the mixture come to a boil, then lower the heat & let it simmer for 25-30 minutes. Serve over pasta or pizza & enjoy!
medium pot
mixing spoon


Pizzana Secret Recipe