This is one of the easiest recipes you'll ever make. But put it together at least four hours before serving. The flavors need time to develop.
6 to 8 large, ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
1/4 to 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 to 2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup finely chopped basil leaves
1 pound spaghetti or linguine
grated cheese (optional)
Combine all ingredients except pasta in a mixing bowl, and set aside at room temperature. Stir every 30 minutes or when you think of it. Taste the mixture after 2 hours and add more olive oil or salt as you wish. The amount of liquid will increase as the mixture stands. After about 4 hours, or when plenty of juice has accumulated in the bowl, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water. Drain and immediately toss with tomato sauce. Top with grated cheese, if desired.
Note: If you wish, you can skin the tomatoes: Drop them into boiling water for 15 seconds and slip off the skins before you chop them. More important, use tomatoes that have terrific flavor. They need to be dead ripe and juicy -- ideally just picked from your garden.