First, crush the tomatoes in a food processor with salt; only about 5-6 pulses. Then, mince the garlic and dice the onion.
Then, preheat the frying pan with olive oil over medium high heat. Sauté the diced onion for 3-4 minutes or until soft. Then, add in the minced garlic and sauté for another minute. Add in the crushed tomatoes and turn the heat to low. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Next, add in oregano, basil, thyme, paprika, crushed red pepper, balsamic vinegar, bay leaf, and fresh basil. Stir and cover with a lid. Simmer for at least 10 more minutes. Cook any pasta according to instructions and prep protein (if you are adding one).
Take the simmering sauce and add it on top of the cooked pasta. Stir it in and top with protein and parmesan if you desire. Serve immediately!