1 pound pasta
4 plump garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
1 medium shallot, peeled and chopped
1-2 red hot chili pepper, chopped (one pepper adds very slight heat, two gives a noticeable bite)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1, 28 oz can whole tomatoes (preferably San Marzano), including juice
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup Parmesan rinds (optional)
Salt to taste
3 tablespoons butter
Grated Parmesan cheese
Place garlic, shallot, chili pepper and olive oil in a large soup pot and turn heat to medium-high. Once the aromatics begin to sizzle, turn the heat down to medium and stir frequently until the shallot and garlic soften-- do not let the garlic brown. Once the garlic is soft, add in the tomatoes and their juices and bring to a bubble. Add in tomato paste and simmer for 10 minutes. Use an immersion blender (also called a stick blender) to puree the sauce then add in Parmesan rinds (if using) and continue to simmer gently for 10 minutes longer. Taste and season with salt.
When pasta is cooked al dente (still firm), drain well. Take the parmesan rinds out of the sauce and discard. Place butter into the sauce, turn off the heat and stir until butter has melted. Pour cooked pasta into the sauce and stir to coat all the pasta with sauce. Cover and allow to sit for 1-2 minutes then stir again and serve with Parmesan cheese.