Friday, March 21, 2014

Paleo Pepperoni Sauce

I love Top Chef, and still remember this sauce from when Mike Isabella made it a couple of years ago. I made a few adaptations from the original recipe on the Bravo site, namely reducing the yield to accommodate just me and the caveman.

I used Applegate nitrite-free pepperoni, and served the sauce over zucchini noodles alongside some cauliflower "bread" sticks. The sauce is literally loaded with flavor… I didn't use it all and plan to mix the remaining bit in with some eggs and spinach for breakfast or lunch tomorrow!

Paleo Pepperoni Sauce
adapted from Mike Isabella/Bravo TV

2 tbs. olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
3 minced garlic cloves
5 oz. package nitrite-free pepperoni (like Applegate), thinly sliced
1 tsp. fennel seeds
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
8 oz. crushed tomatoes
3/4 cup organic chicken broth
1 bay leaf

Toast the fennel seed in a small dry skillet over medium heat, shaking the skillet often to keep the seeds from burning. They will become fragrant and slightly darker in color.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, until the oil simmers. Add the onion and garlic; cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring often, until they are golden and fragrant.

Stir in the pepperoni; cook for about 5 minutes, until fragrant and evenly coated, then add the toasted fennel seed and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute, stirring.

Add the tomatoes and their juices (to taste), the broth, and the bay leaf; stir to incorporate. Once the mixture starts to bubble at the edges, cover and cook for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Transfer to a food processor or a high-powered blender (including the bay leaf). Puree until smooth.


  1. This was soooooooooooooooooooo good! I wanted to put it on everything! I served it over sauteed zucchini with leftover shredded chicken. I am totally going to make this in batches and freeze it. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Freezing is a great idea! You could use this in so many dishes. It was great with the eggs, too!