Full flavored, versatile and delicious. I serve the sauce on whole wheat spiral noodles with feta cheese and when I make the soup, I place a slice of toasted baguette smothered in cheese on top. It's an amazing meal solution.
Dice all veg, press garlic and saute in stock pot with olive oil until slightly softened. Add diced tomatoes and tomato sauce along with sugar, salt, pepper, hot pepper flakes, parsley, and celery salt. (if you're using dried basil add it along with the other herbs) If you're using fresh basil, reserve 8 basil leaves to add at the end of cooking. Cook for 1 hour on medium heat. Keep an eye on the sauce and stir frequently. After the hour simmering add tomato paste and adjust salt and pepper to your taste. Cook for an additional 30 minutes on low.
I choose to blend my sauce. I use an immersion blender directly in the pot and puree the sauce lightly. I then add the remaining basil leaves to the pot. When I serve this sauce on pasta, I drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil over the top. If you add the cream, add it right before you serve.
This sauce lends well to Tomato Basil Soup. Add 2 Cups of the prepared sauce to 4 Cups Veggie or Chicken Stock, simmering until it's steaming hot.