Lidia's Famous Tomato Sauce
3 lbs. ripe fresh plum tomatoes, peeled and seeded, or one 35 oz. can peeled Italian tomatoes, seeded and lightly crushed, with their liquid.
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped (about 1/2 c.)
1/4 c. finely shredded peeled carrots
1/4 c. finely chopped celery, including leaves
4 fresh bay leaves, or 2 dried bay leaves
Salt to taste
Crushed hot red pepper
Pass the tomatoes through a food mill fitted with the fine disc. Heat the oil in a 2-3 qt. nonreactive saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the carrots and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 10 minutes.
Add the food-milled tomatoes and the bay leaves and bring to a boil. Season lightly with salt and crushed red pepper. Bring to a boil, lower the heat so the sauce is at a lively simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 45 minutes. Remove the Bay Leaves. Taste and season with salt and red pepper if necessary.