This has to be one of the easiest tomato sauces to make. It’s the ultimate beginner’s tomato sauce because there’s no chopping. All you basically have to do is throw the tomatoes into a pan, cover them, and wait until they all burst. One thing to note is the seed factor. You’ll find many Italian chefs who say they would never remove seeds from a tomato sauce. If you agree, this is a sauce for you. Seeding isn’t an option here, but you don’t really need to — the seeds, while numerous, are hardly bitter.
Warm the oil and butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the crushed garlic and simmer momentarily. Add the tomatoes, water, and bay leaf, and cover for 10 minutes.
Then, add the salt, pepper, red chile pepper flakes, basil, and cook, stirring, until all the tomatoes burst, about 10-15 more minutes. Adjust the seasoning, and serve.