Fresh Tomato Marinara Sauce

3 T. olive oil

1 3-oz. pkg. Melissa’s shallots

12 Roma (or medium tomatoes), peeled* and quartered

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

½ c. good red wine

1 T. dark brown sugar

½ c. packed fresh basil

1 t. dried oregano

1 t. dried marjoram

1 t. kosher salt

Few gratings freshly ground black pepper

¼ t. fennel seed

Pinch crushed red pepper

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, more or less to taste

Heat olive oil in a medium stock pot over medium heat. Sauté shallots in oil until softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, garlic, and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer, and simmer until tomatoes are softened, about 30 minutes

Place wine, brown sugar, basil, oregano, marjoram, salt, black pepper, fennel seed, and crushed red pepper into a small food processor. Pulse until blended. Add to tomato mixture, bring to a simmer, and cook another 30 minutes longer. Remove from heat, whisk in balsamic vinegar.

*To peel tomatoes, remove core and cut an “X” in bottom. Immerse into boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove to a bowl of ice water. Turn upside down and peel at “X.” The skin will come right off.