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.