This is an incredible sauce. It sits and macerates for at least four hours, so plan ahead. Or assemble it in the morning before you go to work and all you have to do is start the pasta cooking when you get home!
Be sure to use the extra-virgin olive oil rather than any other kind--it really makes a difference.
At least one tablespoon chopped basil (I like more!)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 or 4 medium tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound of dried pasta, preferably penne, farfalle (bow ties) or shells
Freshly grated parmesan or peccorino romano
Place the basil and garlic in a glass or ceramic bowl. Dice the tomatoes in 1/4 to 1/2-inch pieces and add them (along with any juice) to the bowl, on top of the garlic and herbs. Add salt and pepper. Stir with your fingers so as to distribute the salt and pepper through the tomatoes, while leaving the herbs and garlic at the bottom mostly undisturbed. This is so that they won't be exposed to air (and thus become discolored through oxidation) during the macerating process. With your hands, gently tamp down and compact the tomatoes. Cover the dish and leave to macerate for 4 to 12 hours.
When you're ready to eat, cook the pasta. Meanwhile, stir the sauce, taste, and adjust the seasonings. Add the sauce to the drained pasta and stir to distribute the sauce. Let it rest for a minute or two, then serve. Top with freshly grated cheese.