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Chef Isabella’s “Now-Famous” Pepperoni Sauce

April 13, 2011

Sample the pepperoni sauce that won Chef Isabella so much praise on the finale of Top Chef All-Stars.

Makes 4 1/2 cups to 4 3/4 cups


  • 6-oz. pepperoni, cut into thin slices
  • 4-oz. yellow onion, sliced thin
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon chili flake
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed, toasted
  • 4-oz. crushed San Marzano tomatoes, chopped
  • 4-oz. chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar


In a pot, sweat onions in olive oil for five to seven minutes. Add garlic and continue to sweat for two minutes. Add the pepperoni and cook for about three more minutes. Add spices and cook for an additional minute. Add the crushed tomatoes with the juice and cook for five more minutes. Lastly, add chicken stock and simmer for 40 minutes.

Remove the mixture from heat and puree in a blender. Season with salt and pass it through a fine china cap. Finally, add the splash of vinegar.

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