My sister Tyra married into an Italian family and her husband asked his grandmother to "teach her a few things". When she came home for the holidays, this was the dish we were sure to ask her to cook. I'm sure Nona Demasi would be horrified to know Tyra shared the recipe with all of her sisters! So, now I'm sharing it with you! This dish is truly a testament to "simple is better". Basil is the only herb in the sauce. Tyra made it with chicken or pork. I love the bone-in pork ribs that add flavor. I lost my baby sister in 2012. But I know when I make this sauce, she's smiling!
Salt and pepper both sides of ribs. Heat olive oil in large Dutch oven. Brown ribs on both sides.
Remove ribs to a plate and set aside. Dice the onion, red bell pepper, garlic and basil. Add the onion and red bell pepper to the heated oil and sauté until tender. Add the garlic.
Add the ribs back to the pot. Add the basil, sugar, red pepper flakes and stir.
Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and 2 large cans of water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for at least an hour. Before serving, taste and add salt and pepper as required.
In another pasta pot, heat water to boiling. Salt generously. Add the pasta and cook to package directions. Drain the pasta and return to pasta pot. Add 2 ladles of the sauce to the noodles to absorb the flavors.
To serve, you can add grated parmesan cheese if desired.