1bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add tomatoes to the boiling water and cook 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer tomatoes to a bowl. Reserve pot of water, covered and remove from heat.
2. Peel and cut tomatoes in half; cut out a discard cores. Seed tomato halves; discard seeds. Cut tomatoes into 1/4 inch pieces. Heat oil in a wide heavy pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, celery and Bay leaf; reduce heat to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, about 12 minutes.
3Add tomatoes and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Increase heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring frequently, until juices have reduced and sauce is flavorful, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove sauce from heat; remove and discard bay leaf.
4Pass sauce through the medium holes of a food mill. Return sauce to pot and gently rewarm over low heat; remove from heat and cover to keep warm.
5Return salted water to a boil.
Cook pasta in the boiling water until al dente; drain and transfer to a large serving bowl. Immediately add sauce and toss to mix. Adjust seasoning to taste. Serve at once, generously sprinkled with pepper and garnished with basil, if desired. Serves 4 to 6