Pasta with Marinara Sauce-Mayo Clinic Health System

Recipe: Pasta with marinara sauce and grilled vegetables

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Dietitian’s tip:

Try this recipe as an alternative to spaghetti and meatballs. With the homemade marinara sauce and chopped grilled vegetables, you cut the calories in half and reduce the fat by three-fourths.

Number of servings

Serves 4


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
10 large fresh tomatoes, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 red peppers, sliced into chunks
1 yellow summer squash, sliced lengthwise
1 zucchini, sliced lengthwise
1 sweet onion, sliced into 1/4-inch-wide rounds
8 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti


To make the marinara sauce, in a heavy skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes, salt, garlic, chopped onions, basil, sugar, oregano and black pepper. Simmer uncovered until the sauce thickens, about 30 minutes.

Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill or broiler (grill). Away from the heat source, lightly coat the grill rack or broiler pan with cooking spray. Position the cooking rack 4 to 6 inches from the heat source.

Brush the red peppers, squash, zucchini and sweet onion with the remaining olive oil. Place the vegetables on the grill rack or broiler pan. Grill or broil, turning as needed, until the vegetables are tender, about 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl and set aside.

Fill a large pot 3/4 full with water and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente (tender), about 10 to 12 minutes, or according to package directions. Drain the pasta thoroughly.

Divide the pasta evenly among individual plates. Top with the marinara sauce and grilled vegetables. Serve immediately.

Nutritional analysis per serving

·         Total fat 6 g

·         Calories 270

·         Protein 8 g

·         Cholesterol 0 mg

·         Total carbohydrate 46 g

·         Dietary fiber 4 g

·         Monounsaturated fat 4 g

·         Saturated fat 1 g

·         Sodium 380