This is one of my favorite ways to cook pasta, and very quick and easy. I start with the basics:
~Fresh basil leaves -- about 1/2 cup.
~Plenty of garlic -- this is about 4 cloves thinly sliced.
In a large skillet, saute the garlic and 1/2 teaspoon of hot pepper flakes in 1/4 cup of good olive oil. Don't let the garlic burn as it will get bitter. Add the tomatoes and a bit of their juice (if using canned) along with the basil and simmer for about 20 minutes, occasionally stirring.
Meanwhile, in a large pot, bring at least 10 cups of water to a boil; once it's boiling, salt the water and add your pasta -- linguini, spaghetti or fettucine works well with this dish. Cook until al dente, add to the tomatoes, toss and serve immediately, with a drizzle of good olive oil and some Parmesan cheese. Buon appetito!
My history geek moment: The earliest discovered cookbook containing tomato recipes was published in Naples in 1692, though it is believed that the source of the recipes was Spanish.