Serves 4 with leftovers
3pounds plum tomatoes, cored, with a shallow “x’’ cut at the tip3tablespoons olive oil3cloves garlic, finely choppedSalt, to taste¼teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste2cups shelled baby lima beans, fresh or frozen12fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
1. Bring a soup pot of water to a boil. Set a large heatproof bowl and a colander in the sink.
2. Place the tomatoes in the bowl. Cover with boiling water. Let stand for 30 to 45 seconds. With a slotted spoon, transfer the tomatoes to the colander. Peel off and discard the tomato skins.
3. Set a strainer over a bowl. Halve the tomatoes crosswise. Hold the tomatoes over the strainer and squeeze to pop out the seeds. With a spoon, press on the seeds to extract the juice. Discard the seeds and reserve the juice. Coarsely chop the tomatoes.
4. In the soup pot over medium heat, heat the oil and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, salt, and red pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, or until the tomatoes soften. With a potato masher, break up the tomatoes.
5. Add the lima beans and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the beans are tender. (Total cooking time is 30 minutes.) If the sauce seems too thick, add reserved tomato juice as needed. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and red pepper, if you like. Stir in the basil. Set aside 2 cups of the sauce for the pasta. Sally Pasley Vargas