This all-purpose marinara (a puree of boiled onion, garlic, celery, carrots as shown below) is perfect for pasta as well as for poaching fish or for putting on top of chicken. It’s super easy to make (practically cooks itself) and good to make and freeze in bulk.
1 onion, peeled, halved
2 carrots, halved
2 celery, halved
3 cloves of garlic
2 beefsteak/big tomatoes or 4-5 romas, whole or a can of whole peeled Italian tomatoes
1 bay leaf
Stack everything in a bot, cover with water and lid and boil until tomato skin starts to peel back (if using canned tomatoes, cook until carrots are tender and add canned tomatoes then). Drain water and reserve. Puree in batches in a blender or in a pot with an immersion blender until smooth. Add a 1/2 cup of olive oil and a bay leaf, bring puree to a boil and then simmer for an hour and a half or so adding reserved liquid a 1/2-cup at a time. Add a heaping TS of salt (or more to taste).