In a large pot (I like using a massive Dutch oven pot), add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over medium high heat.
When oil is hot, add garlic, shallots, and carrots. Allow the shallots to “sweat” (i.e., cook until they start to grow translucent). Add ½ tsp of salt, a little cracked black pepper, and 1 tbsp Italian seasoning.
Stir the veggies using a wooden spoon. When the garlic starts to turn brown around the edges, deglaze the bottom of the pot with a balsamic vinegar. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits.
Add chopped tomatoes to pot, together with another healthy pinch of salt, and stir together the contents of the pot (so that the veggies are not all at the bottom). Next add a couple bay leaves.
Tomatoes will begin to release liquid immediately—continue to stir gently. When liquid begins to boil, reduce heat to low and allow tomatoes to simmer for approximately 1 hour, until tomatoes have broken down (though still retaining some shape).
Drizzle another tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and serve with crusty bread or pasta.