If you have time, roast the tomatoes as described in the recipe. This step deepens the tomato flavor. Otherwise, just use freshly peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes. Use with pasta or as a pizza sauce.
Makes about 1 quart
2 pounds ripe tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large yellow onion
1 medium carrot
1 head garlic
1 bay leaf
1 large sprig fresh thyme
1 small bunch fresh basil
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Cut out the core at the stem end of the tomatoes and cut the tomatoes into quarters. Toss with 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil and arrange in a baking dish. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring a couple of times.
Cook until the flesh is very soft and the skin separates easily from the flesh. Pull off the skin and discard. Set the tomato flesh aside.
Peel and slice the onion and carrot. Cut the head of garlic in half along the equator.
Heat the remaining 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in a stainless steel or other non-reactive pot. Add the onion, carrot and garlic and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are completely soft.
Add the reserved tomatoes and the herbs. Simmer for 45 minutes, stirring frequently, until the flavors come together and all is meltingly tender.
Pass the sauce through a food mill, or purée in a food processor until smooth. Strain through a coarse strainer and season with salt and pepper. May be refrigerated for a day or two.