- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
- 4 to 6 basil leaves
- 2 dried bay leaves
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional (use a little honey or omit if dairy free)
- Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large stockpot or casserole pot. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add celery and carrot and season with salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil, and bay leaves and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer for 1 hour or until thick. Remove bay leaves and taste for seasoning. If sauce tastes too acidic, add unsalted butter or honey, 1 tablespoon at a time, to round out the flavor.
- Pour half the tomato sauce into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Continue with remaining tomato sauce.
- If not using all the sauce, allow it to cool completely and then pour 1 to 2 cup portions into plastic freezer bags. Freeze for up to 6 months.