My mom insists that the trick to the tomatoes is the sugar, and I agree. Tomatoes are naturally acidic. You need to add sugar to balance the acidity and this particular dish should be a little on the sweet side, which is why we add sugar.
Use the best quality canned tomatoes available. We recommend Muir Glen brand or San Marzano. The sauce has so few ingredients, it's important that the tomatoes you use are high quality. Cheap, generic canned tomatoes just will not taste as good.
- 1/2 pound of fusilli pasta or elbow macaroni
- 1 14 ounce can of good quality whole tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 teaspoons sugar (more or less to taste)
- Pinch of dried basil or fresh sliced basil (optional)
1 Half fill a 4 quart pot with water. Add a tablespoon of salt. Bring salted water to boil. Add pasta. Cook until al dente, tender but still a little firm.
2 While the pasta water is heating and the pasta is cooking, prepare the tomatoes. Shred the canned whole tomatoes with your fingers as you put them in a small saucepan. Add any tomato juice left in the can to the pot. Add the butter. Heat to a simmer and stir to melt the butter. Simmer gently while the pasta is cooking. Stir in sugar, salt, and pepper to taste. If you have fresh basil, thinly slice a couple leaves and stir in. If not, if you want you can add a pinch of dried basil.
3 When the pasta is done, drain it. Stir in the cooked tomatoes and put in a serving bowl.