Pasta and tomato sauce: not exactly revolutionary. It's a combination favored universally for its ease of preparation, if not, in these recession-weary times, for its frugality — what could be simpler than boiling a fistful of dried spaghetti and dumping in a jar of sauce at the end? Other than slapping together a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, not much.
Would you guess, then, the radical, disarming potential that this dish has when both the pasta and the sauce are homemade instead of thrown in the pot straight from the packaging? Considering this pasta pomodoro is made from only six ingredients, it's remarkable just how different it tastes from the store-bought version: rich, concentrated, full of natural sweetness, unadulterated even with onion or garlic. It's a pure distillation of a late summer tomato. The pasta too, when made fresh, is tender and toothsome, and it wears its ruby sauce with panache.
Sure, there's no question that more effort is required when making both components from scratch. But the result is incomparably better, so much so that it might as well be another dish entirely.