A deliciously simple sauce. Used chopped or pureed tomatoes depending on what texture you prefer. If you would like to use fresh tomatoes from the garden substitute 8 cups of coarsely strained fresh tomato puree for the canned tomatoes and omit the water. To turn the recipe into a meat sauce, start with 1 pound of minced or ground meat – beef, pork or lamb and sauté in olive oil until browned, then proceed from step 1 from the garlic on. Yield: 6 cups
1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a medium sauce pan.
2. Add the garlic cloves and sauté until golden.
3. Add the tomatoes, water, sugar, bay leaf and fennel seed.
4. Simmer for 1 hour to develop the flavor, adding more water if the sauce gets too thick. Season to taste with salt and pepper.