Note: I prefer to make my tomato sauce with these extra ingredients, so that when I reach for a bottle from my pantry, it needs no further preparation for use in pasta sauces (though being the indulgent person I am, I often gild the lily with an extra flourish of olive oil).
1.5 kg very ripe tomatoes
1 large onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 stick celery, chopped
1/2 cup (125 ml) extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt flakes
1/2 tsp –2 Tbs sugar (depending on the ripeness of the tomatoes)
1/4 cup (60 ml) verjuice or white wine
Freshly ground black pepper
2 large basil leaves
Wash the tomatoes, then cut them into quarters, discarding the calyx, or base of the green stem, from each and cutting away any blemishes, and put them into a large preserving pan.
Add the onion, carrot, celery and olive oil to the tomato, tossing to coat well.
Add salt and sugar and stand the pan over a fierce heat.
Stir the mixture constantly, watching that it does not catch and burn, until it starts to caramelise and the liquid has evaporated, about 20 minutes.
Deglaze the pan with the verjuice or white wine, then check for seasoning, adjusting with salt and sugar as necessary.
Grind in black pepper, then add the torn basil.
Fill sterilised, hot jars or bottles (see Glossary) with the sauce and seal. The sauce keeps for months.