1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Using the tip of a paring knife, score a shallow 1 1/2"-long X in the bottom of each tomato, then add tomatoes to water and cook until skins begin to crack and peel away, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer tomatoes to a rimmed baking sheet, stem side down, and let sit until cool enough to handle.
2. Using the edge of the paring knife, peel off tomato skins starting at the X. Chop tomatoes into 1/2" pieces and transfer to a medium bowl (discard skins).
3. Combine oil, garlic, basil stems, and red pepper flakes in a medium saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until garlic begins to brown and mixture is fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes. Add tomatoes, including any pulp and juices, along with sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook, adjusting heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer, until sauce is slightly thickened, 20 to 30 minutes, stirring frequently.
4. Remove from heat and discard basil stems and any large garlic pieces (use the back of a spoon to smash smaller pieces of garlic against side of pan and stir into sauce). Finely chop reserved basil leaves and add to sauce, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Once cool, sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to one week or frozen for up to four months.
Source: Hannaford fresh Magazine, September 2019