Sugo di Roma

A Roman Sauce to Die For!


  • Garlic – at least 6 cloves
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – half a cup
  • 1 medium sized red onion
  • 4 cans of Italian peeled plum tomatoes
  • ½ bottle of Pinot Grigio wine
  • 4 cups of chicken broth (vegetarians can go without this addition)
  • Pepperoncini -spicy red pepper flakes
  • Panna or Creme Fraiche
  • Penne pasta
  1. Saute several cloves of garlic in extra virgin olive oil in large skillet
  2. Add 1 medium sized red onion, chopped medium to fine
  3. Let these both saute together on low heat for 10 minutes or so
  4. Open 4 large cans of Italian plum tomatoes and trim the core end off, then slice the length of the tomato and then quarter them leaving the tomato juice in the can. Transfer cut tomatoes to another bowl
  5. Add all the tomatoes a bit at a time to the skillet, keeping the heat on low
  6. Let the tomatoes / onion / garlic simmer for a half an hour
  7. Add the first cup of chicken broth and turn up heat a little bit, leaving a lid partially on top of the pan, stirring occasionally
  8. After 20 minutes or so, add a cup of dry white wine, stirring occasionally
  9. Repeat the addition of one cup of chicken broth and one cup of wine for the next few hours, stirring occasionally.
  10. The goal is to allow the broth and the wine to soak in slowly, but eventually to burn off /evaporate a bit due to the lengthy simmer time
  11. Add some pepperoncino (spicy red pepper flakes) after about an hour
  12. Let this sauce simmer for as long as you’d like, up to 4 hours if you have the time to watch it, making sure the broth and wine keep it from over cooking
  13. You can add some of the tomato juice from the cans if you want a soupier consistency
  14. Boil water for your pasta, add a bit of salt, and cook your pasta al dente
  15. While the pasta is cooking, add one half cup of panna or crème fraiche to the sauce, stir well.
  16. Save a cup of pasta water for the sauce, drain the pasta from the pan
  17. Add a little bit of pasta water if you think you need it, otherwise add the pasta to the sauce and gently mix.
  18. Normally you would not add parmesagno to this dish because it has crème fraiche in the sauce – that’s the Italian law. Tommaso breaks the rule, every time, and adds parmesagno.
  19. Before your first bite, congratulate yourself for the 4 hours you spent making this Sugo di Roma, and then revel in the deliciousness!

Buon Appetito!