Preparation / Directions:
1. Heat oil in large Dutch oven; lightly sauté onions, celery, bell pepper and garlic until soft (do not brown).
2. Add tomatoes, tomato puree, bay leaf, thyme, pepper, sugar, salt, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco.
3. Stir well; bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer at least 1 hour.
4. Correct seasoning.
5. Blend cornstarch into water; stir briskly into sauce and cook until translucent and thick.
6. Prepare fish as desired: Steam or poach fillets; or bake (in sauce of lemon juice and melted butter) in preheated 375F oven 20 to 30 minutes; or deep-fry breaded fillets. Serve with warm sauce, allowing 1/3 to 1/2 cup per serving.
NOTE: Unbreaded fish fillets may be baked directly in sauce, too. Thaw fish if frozen; pat dry and place in well-oiled shallow baking dishes. Cover with sauce; bake in preheated 375F. 25 to 30 minutes, or until fish flakes easily.