Food The Bite:

Bon Appétit’s Alison Roman gets Saucy!

Alison Roman
Bon Appétit’s Alison Roman gets Saucy!

Apparenty, Estée Lauder loved anything sweet, she would even put sugar into her tomato sauce according to her granddaughter, Aerin.

Bon Appétit’s senior food editor, Alison Roman develops recipes, cooks them, writes about them, and finally works with the publication’s talented team to choose which recipes makes it into the issue monthly.

Bon Appétit’s Alison Roman gets Saucy!

A woman after my own heart, Alison claims “Sometimes, it’s hard to feel pretty when you have flour allover your face, and you’re wearing a dirty apron and clogs.”

Combining the two things I swoon crazy amounts – Pasta with RED Sauce (which is personally steeped with childhood memories of ritualistic Sundays spend with my Italian American family) and a Bold RED lip that stays on for hours – even in the kitchen!

Bon Appétit’s Alison Roman gets Saucy!
Bon Appétit’s Alison Roman gets Saucy!
Bon Appétit’s Alison Roman gets Saucy!

Alison puts her own spin on Estée’s famous tomato sauce on The Estée Edit by adding a touch of muscovado sugar for a subtle sweetness. It’s the perfect last ingredient! #SWOONTHEBITE

Bon Appétit’s Alison Roman gets Saucy!

Tomato Sauce with Muscovado Sugar

Alison Roman


– ¼ cup olive oil
– 1 small onion, finely chopped
– 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
– Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
– 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
– 2-4 chile de arbol (or ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes)
– ¼ cup red wine
– 2 28oz. cans of whole peeled tomatoes
– 6 sprigs thyme
– 2 Tbsp. muscovado sugar (dark brown sugar would work as a substitute)
– 1 Tbsp. fish sauce (optional, but provides an umami boost of flavor)

The Prep

– Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring pretty often until the onions are translucent and totally softened, about 8–10 minutes.

– Add tomato paste and stir to coat all the onions and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally (and using the spatula to scrape up any bits that start to stick) until the tomato paste turns a deep brick red color, about 3 minutes. Add chile de arbol and thyme and stir to coat.

– Add red wine and scrape up any bits on the bottom of the pan. Simmer until reduced by about half (this will burn off most of the alcohol and concentrate flavors), about 2 minutes.

– Add your canned tomatoes (you can crush them in a bowl beforehand, but I like to just crush them right into the pot). Fill each can about halfway with water, swirling to get any tomato-y bits out of there and add to your pot. Reduce heat to medium–low and season with salt and pepper.

– Simmer until sauce is thickened and the flavors have all melded together, about 2 hours. Remove from heat and add sugar and fish sauce. Season again with salt and pepper. Serve over buccatini, spaghetti, or whatever tickles your fancy.

*Yield: About 2 quarts of sauce (8 cups). If you’re not planning on having a pasta party, this sauce freezes excellently.

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