Sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil in a large saucepan until they have softened. Stir in flour until smooth (as for gravy). Add the tomatoes (you can peel if you wish). Cut a small square of cheese cloth, place the thyme, parsley, fennel seeds and bay leaf in the center, gather and tie tightly with kitchen string. Add to the pot. Add the other ingredients. Heat to a simmer, cover and simmer 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Remove the lid and simmer another 25-30 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened. Remove the herbs bundle. Chill the sauce overnight to blend flavors or you can freeze at this point. Heat gently before serving over pasta.
Yield: about 3 C.