Sometimes the best recipes aren’t recipes at all, but a simple combination of things that taste good together. Such is the case with this tomato sauce given to me by Barbara Bruno, the mother of a dear friend. Barbara was born in Castel San Giorgio in the Campania region of Italy – an area known for tomato dishes . Make this with great-tasting, in-season tomatoes and you can’t go wrong.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 crushed red pepper
  • 2 1/2 tomatoes, cored and chopped
  • large handful fresh basil leaves
  • 1 pound spaghetti pasta
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Put your pasta water on to boil.
  2. Heat the olive oil on high in a large, deep skillet. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper. Sauté until the garlic is translucent.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and add the chopped tomatoes and basil. Cover and cook for ten minutes.
  4. Cook your pasta according the package directions.
  5. After 10 minutes remove the lid covering your sauce. Season with salt and pepper and grated Parmesan cheese. Raise the heat to high to reduce the liquid.
  6. Add two fingers of the pasta water to the sauce. Drain the pasta and add to the skillet with the sauce. Add a little more olive oil and toss.
  7. Garnish each serving with more basil and Parmesan cheese.