Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
Dietary guidance: v v
lashings of extra-virgin olive oil (about 5/6 tbsp if you insist upon measuring)
plenty of garlic
3 - 4 large ripe red tomatoes (plum tomatoes are best, but get whatever's locally available)
fresh-ground black pepper (the pre-ground stuff is for weirdos)
1. Peel the garlic cloves, and slice as finely as possible.
2. Roughly chop the tomatoes. (If you have the time/inclination, you can skin them by placing them in a bowl of boiling-hot water for about a minute; the skins ought to slip off easily after this.)
3. Add the oil to a saucepan placed over a gentle/medium heat. Add the sliced garlic and cook gently until the garlic is barely coloured (a very pale white-golden sort of shade). Make sure that the garlic doesn't scorch or burn.
4. Add the tomatoes, turn the heat down a little, stir everything and simmer gently for about 20 minutes. You'll know that it's done because it will look more like a sauce; also, the oil and the tomatoes should have separated a little. If you're not sure, keep cooking, checking it every five minutes or so. It will be done after half an hour, for sure.
5. Add lots and lots of black pepper, stir and continue to cook for another couple of minutes.
6. Remove the pan from the heat. Tear some fresh basil leaves and stir into the sauce. Serve at once, tossed into hot wholewheat pasta.