2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and finely grated
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 large can (28 ounces) Italian tomatoes, crushed
1 large can (12 ounces) tomato paste
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons dried whole basil
1 teaspoon dried whole oregano
pinch fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
4 cloves garlic, chopped
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or saucepan (do not use cast iron or aluminum) over medium-high heat. Add the onions and carrots; sauté until the onions are translucent. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well.
Bring just to a boil, lower heat, and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes or until desired thickness.
Remove the bay leaf. Serve with your favorite pasta or polenta.