If using fresh tomatoes, cut a shallow X in bottom of each with a paring knife and blanch tomatoes in 3 batches in a 5- to 6-quart pot of boiling water, 1 minute per batch. Transfer blanched tomatoes with a slotted spoon to a cutting board and, when cool enough to handle, peel, beginning from scored end, with knife, then halve lengthwise and seed. Chop tomatoes (fresh or canned), reserving juice (from cutting board or can).
Cook garlic and red-pepper flakes in oil in a 4-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring, until garlic is golden, about 5 minutes. Discard garlic, then add tomatoes with their juice and salt and simmer, uncovered, until sauce is thickened, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in basil and salt to taste.
Cook pasta in a 6- to 8-quart pot of well salted boiling water, uncovered, until al dente, then drain in a colander.
Toss pasta with warm marinara sauce in a large bowl. Serve with ricotta and grated Pecorino Romano.
Cooks’ Notes: Sauce can be made ahead and cooled completely, uncovered, then chilled, covered, up to 5 days or frozen in an airtight container for 2 months.
If using canned tomatoes, whose sodium content varies, use only 1/4 teaspoon salt then season your finished sauce with additional salt if desired.
From the Gourmet Quick Kitchen Special Issue, available on newsstands. Or, you can purchase here