Recipe: Strawberry Marinara

June 15th, 2010 - filed under: The Food » Recipes


Oh yes, you read that right.

But before you write me off as crazy, just hear me out. Yes, it’s sweet . . . but so is balsamic, or caramelized onion, or yams – and each of these steals the show in many a savory dish. So although this plate is playing on the sweet side, it is decidedly UN-dessert-y. Trust me.

In fact, it sort of tastes like a summer explosion. But for dinner.


Um, yum.

1 lb pasta of choice (I use brown rice spagetti)

1.5 lbs organic strawberries, stems removed, washed and quartered (organic is important here)
1 medium onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon various ‘Italian’-type spices (basil, oregano, thyme, marjoram – whatever you have)
1/4 cup cooking wine (I use dry vermouth)
cracked pepper and sea salt, to taste
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Get your pasta going.

In a large pan, heat the oil over medium and add the diced onion. Sauté until glassy, a few minutes, and then add the garlic. Sauté a minute or so more, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the strawberries and spices, stirring to keep from sticking (add more oil if needed). Strawberries will begin to darken and soften. Pour in the cooking wine to deglaze, stir well, then reduce heat and let simmer for a good 10-15 minutes.


Stir in the balsamic just before serving. I spooned the sauce over the pasta, but you can toss it all together for awesome pink-hued noodley goodness.


A special thanks to my pal Jeremy, who tweeted me an entire art history lesson whilst I wrote this recipe up, and to Waits, who kept me warm all snuggled up and snoring on my chest while it rained and thundered outside. Much love.

  • Jeremy

    Your recipe is better than my art history lesson. It looks so freakin’ yumskies.

  • Katherine

    What a great idea! I have never heard of something so smart and clever for a pasta sauce

  • Tiffany

    What a fresh take on marinara! I like the sound of this sweet-and-savory creation. Thanks for sharing.

  • Kathryn

    looks delicious! i am so excited to try it!

  • Minna

    Yum… Such a crazy idea! Strawberries and pasta :) The recipe looks really easy! Will try!

    How much do you buy organic anyway?

  • Amycat

    I trust you that this is delicious, but I am scared of it and I don’t understand it. It’s like my constantly pre-menstrual older sister.

  • Richard

    I bid farewell Bonzai, enjoy your crazy strawberry madness!

    (I dont like strawberries)

  • Karmalily

    I bet this is delicious. I made a raw marinara with strawberries once, and it’s really not as sweet as you would have imagined.

  • Sayward

    Yay! I’m so glad this went over well (of course I expect no less from such an openminded crew). If any of you do try it, please let me know how you like it!

    @ Jeremy – No way! Knowledge beats yums any day. =)

    @ Minna – I’d say I buy 90-95% organic (not including eating out which of course is less). If there’s a choice I ALWAYS choose organic and where I live there’s almost always that option. The places I let it slide are with stuff that just doesn’t have the option (ie tinned water chestnuts or something) and sometimes in a dollar bag if it’s just a great bargain (totally depends on the produce in question) But everything else – produce, grains, nuts, legumes, pastas, preserves, etc – is organic.

    @ Amycat – Haha, I understand. My husband was the same way . . . until he tried it!

    @ Richard – Nooo! Man, talk about ‘fair weather readers’, sheesh . . . ;-)

  • rebecca

    Yum! Although I am not one of them, there are plenty of people with TOMATO allergies (poor, poor folk!) so this would be a great way to have your pasta and eat it too!

    I hope this is ok to post here but, in addition to other ventures, I have started a recipe column and health/wellness column for the websites of several publications I work for…if interested check out my recipe for creamy pesto vinaigrette…I have to say it rocks (especially if you let it sit for a day or so)…obvi. you could sub in soy yogurt (and yes..even making it with all yogurt and no oil is DELICIOUS!)

  • Sayward

    @ rebecca – That pesto sounds delicious, thanks!

  • Jonas

    I love your site. I am intrigued by this recipe. It will be great to see the fams reaction to strawberries for dinner. Enjoying the posts.

    Many thanks.

  • Jonas

    I love your site. I am intrigued by this recipe. It will be great to see the fams reaction to strawberries for dinner. Enjoying the posts.

    Many thanks.

  • Rachel

    I made this recipe to bring to a party full of omni people, and I’m omni myself, and we all loved it. Our reaction was something like, “This is weird…but I like it!” – even people who don’t like strawberries! Thank you so much for sharing! :D

  • Kelly H.

    I am intrigued…

  • Sayward

    @ Jonas – You’re welcome! – twice ;-D

    @ Rachel – Yay! That’s awesome, thanks for the feedback.

    @ Kelly H. – Do iiiiiit!! haha

  • saundra

    tried it.. and i’ll say it was interesting lol im not much of a strawberry fan but am trying to be healthier so i made it my husband ate it no complaints, oldest kidateit only complaining a little, little one would not touch it took like maybe 2 bites bc i told him it was strawberries he made this awful face and wouldn’t touch it cracked me up as for me at first i was like eek but after the first few bites it was alright i can’t say i’ll make it again but i’m glad i tried it thank you for the recipe :)

  • Sayward

    @ saundra – Thanks for the feedback! Sorry your kids weren’t so into it, haha. At least you tried!

  • Rande McDaniel

    What a fantastic idea!