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Heat the oil in a pan and add the vegetables and bay leaf. Stir in the sugar with some salt. Gently cook for 10-15 mins until the veg is tender. Stir in the tomatoes and 150ml water. Simmer very gently for 30 mins until the sauce has reduced by two-thirds and is very thick. (If you have doubled or tripled the quantities, this may take up to 1 hr.)
Stir occasionally, particularly towards the end of the cooking time, so that the sauce doesn’t catch on the bottom. If you like your sauce a little thinner, add a splash of water. Serve half with pasta and chill or freeze other half in 1-2 batches for later use (see 'Goes well with' for ideas of how to use up your sauce).