Bring a pot of water to boil on top of the stove. Cut an X in the bottom of each tomato. When water begins to boil, place the tomatoes in the pot, boil for 1 minute and then remove with a slotted spoon and place them in cold water.
You should easily be able to remove the skin from the tomatoes with your hands or a small knife. Cut into medium chunks and discard the skin.
Place chunks of onion in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Heat 1 T olive oil in a large pot and when hot, add the onion. Sauté over medium heat until onions are translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 60 seconds to release the flavor.
Add the tomatoes and cover with a lid. Cook for 30 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft.
As tomatoes are cooking, use a spatula or spoon to break the tomatoes up into smaller pieces.
When the tomatoes are soft, place half* of the mixture into the food processor and blend until it reaches a smoother texture. Add 1 cup of basil leaves to the processor and pulse again to chop basil.
Return chopped tomatoes and basil to the pan with the other half of tomatoes.
Add 1 italian seasoning, salt, crushed red pepper and bay leaf to the pot. Cover and cook for 15 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Taste and adjust seasonings to your taste. Serve immediately or freeze for later use.
*If you prefer a smoother sauce, you may want to blend all of the tomato mixture and a blender will create a much smoother consistency as well. Makes approximately 3.5 cups of sauce.