2 red peppers, quartered and deseeded
2 tbsp olive oil
1 fennel bulb, roughly chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 large carrot, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp crushed chilli flakes
2 tbsp tomato purée
400g can chopped tomatoes
600ml vegetable stock
1 tsp caster sugar
small handful basil, leaves shredded
500g fresh spaghetti, cooked (you can use fresh tagliatelli or fettuccini if you prefer)
Heat the grill and pop the peppers, skin-side up, underneath for 10 mins or until beginning to char. Transfer to a bowl, cover with cling film and set aside. When cool enough to handle, peel off the skin and cut the flesh into strips.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the fennel, onion and carrot for 8-10 mins until softened. Stir in the garlic, crushed chilli and tomato purée, cook for 5 mins, then add the canned tomatoes, stock and sugar. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 mins or until the vegetables are completely soft and you have a lovely rich sauce.
Take out a couple of spoonfuls of the sauce into a separate bowl, then blend the rest in the saucepan until almost smooth with a stick blender. Simmer for 5 mins to thicken, then stir in the reserved sauce, shredded basil and peppers. Serve with the freshly cooked pasta which should be al dente and not too soft, and parmesan if you like it.