Tomato Passata (Passata al pomodoro) by Sara

2 celery sticks

1 carrot

1 red or brown onion

1 clove garlic

1.2 kilos skinned tomatoes (or 3 x 400gm tins tomatoes)

½ teaspoon sugar

3 large sprigs of basil s

alt and freshly ground black pepper

Dice the celery and carrot and onion & garlic. Heat 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Briefly fry the vegetables and basil in the hot oil then add the tomatoes.

Season with salt & pepper, add the sugar and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for up to 60 minutes, depending on how much time you have. The longer you leave it, the more concentrated the flavour. Stir regularly, breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon.

Remove the basil sprigs and puree the sauce in a blender.