Marinara Sauce

Makes 8 full portions or 16 side portions. Recipe is by Peter Sclafani, chef/co-owner of Ruffino’s Italian Restaurant, Baton Rouge, and Ruffino’s on the River, Lafayette.

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, diced

1 large carrot, peeled and diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 fennel root, bottom only, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced

1½ teaspoon oregano

½ cup red wine

24 ounces San Marzano tomatoes

16 ounces tomato sauce

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1½ teaspoon fennel seed, ground

¼ cup sugar

1 tablespoon kosher salt

½ cup water

6 leaves, fresh basil

1. In a heavy-bottom pot, heat the olive oil on medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté for about 5 minutes.

2. Combine carrots and cook for another 3 minutes. Add bell pepper and fennel root and cook another 2 minutes.

3. Add garlic, rosemary, oregano, red wine and cook for 2 minutes. Add San Marzano tomatoes (break up by hand), tomato sauce, crushed red pepper, fennel seed, sugar, kosher salt and water; bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 1 hour. Remove from heat and add fresh basil and stir well.