Perfect for pasta! Or serve with meatballs, or use in a Bolognese sauce, lasagna or hearty bean soup. If you don’t have all the fresh herbs, just leave them out or use a pinch of their dried equivalents.
1. Heat the oil in a medium-sized, heavy-based pot. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and cook over medium heat until softened but not coloured, about 10 mins. Add the garlic and cook for another couple of minutes until the onions and garlic are just starting to caramelise.
2. Add the tomatoes, tomato puree and herbs (keeping the sprigs whole). Season with salt and cook for 45 minutes to an hour over a low to moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the fresh tomatoes have broken down and the sauce has reduced and thickened. Fish out the herbs.
3. Taste and add a little sugar and vinegar if needed, to accentuate the sweet-sour flavour of the tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
• For a more complex sauce you could try adding the following: several anchovy fillets and/or chopped red chillies or chilli flakes (along with the garlic); a couple of tablespoons of olives and/or a couple of teaspoons of capers (along with the tomatoes); a small glass of red wine (along with the tomatoes).