Sugo di Roma – Roman Sauce


Before I tell you about the Mafia mistake, I promised to include a few recipes that I learned from many friendly Italian neighbors who were horrified that I didn’t know how to make a proper Italian meal.  So, let me start with my personal favorite from one of my other neighbors, Susanna.  Don’t worry, Signora Bergamaschi will play a big part on this blog.

Sugo di Roma / Roman sauce.  This tomato sauce is best to let simmer for hours and hours before serving.   This amount is for 6 servings.  I’m never precise with measurements since this is how I was taught….

  • one entire head of garlic, finely chopped
  • two medium size red onions, finely chopped
  • 6 cans of peeled Italian Plum tomatoes, remove top core and cut into quarters.  Keep two cans’ worth of the tomato liquid
  • 2 cups of chicken broth
  • 1/2 bottle of Pinot Grigio (at least)
  • pepperoncino flakes / chili pepper flakes
  • panna or crème fraiche

In the largest skillet you have, sautee the garlic in extra virgin olive oil and add the onions after 5 minutes.  Sautee both for another five or 10 minutes.

Slowly add the tomatoes and raise the heat a bit.

Add 1/2 cup of the chicken stock, and stir somewhat frequently. Keep the heat at medium high so the chicken stock eventually cooks off.

Add some Pinot Grigio and do the same as above.  You want the chicken broth and the wine to soak in, but cook off eventually.

Add a good bit of hot pepper flakes – to your liking, but the more the merrier.

Repeat the chicken broth and white wine additions every 45 minutes or so until done.

Then let sauce simmer on very low for another hour.

Five to ten minutes before you serve, add one cup of panna, or one small container of crème fraiche.  Stir it in gently.

Susanna would only serve this over Penne, so I suggest you do the same.


roman pasta sauceNO parmesagno is allowed on this Sugo di Roma.  The panna or crème fraiche makes it against the law to add parmesagno.  Seriously. There aren’t too many pasta sauces that forbid any type of cheese, but this is one of them.

I will say however that I’ve seen this rule broken before (by the dude I live with!).

Buon Appetito!!!!!