Cherry Tomato Sauce with Bow Ties

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 quart whole cherry tomatoes, stems removed
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon sugar
salt and pepper to taste
10 oz. bow tie (or other) pasta
fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips (optional)

Heat olive oil in large skillet until quite hot but not smoking. Add tomatoes and let them sizzle for a minute or two, shaking pan occasionally. Add garlic and salt, stir, and cover. Cook over medium-high heat until the cherry tomatoes can easily be flattened with a wooden spoons, about 5 minutes. Meanwile, cook pasta in a large pot of salted, boiling water; drain and keep warm until sauce is done. Uncover cherry tomatoes and flatten them with wooden spoon to release all the juices. Continue to cook uncovered over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened and juices are reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Add the sugar and additional salt and pepper to taste. Place cooked pasta in individual pasta bowls and spoon some sauce over each bowl (a little goes a long way). Sprinkle some basil over each bowl and serve hot.

~ adapted from From Asparagus to Zucchini: a guide to cooking farm-fresh seasonal produce