Gemelli Pasta With Tomato-Butter Sauce
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic
5 medium to large ripe tomatoes
cut in half and whizzed in the food
processor till chunky, or just coarsely chopped by hand,
or a 28-ounce can of San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes
a few torn leaves of fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste
Melt the butter in a medium-large sauté pan. When it foams, add the minced garlic. Cook just until the garlic is fragrant (do not come anywhere near browning it, or it will be bitter), then add the tomatoes and basil. Stir, and simmer over medium heat for about 45 minutes, or until reduced by about a third (if using canned tomatoes, you don't have to cook it this long, just 20 minutes or so). Add salt and pepper to taste.
Toward the end of the cooking time for the sauce, heat salted water in a pot to boiling and add the gemelli or other pasta. Cook until al dente,drain, and toss with the sauce until nicely coated. Serve warm, with slivered fresh basil and freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese on top if desired.