Choose very ripe tomatoes. Peel the tomatoes by submerging in boiling water for 30 seconds after scoring the end with a knife and removing the core. Refresh the tomatoes in ice water, remove the skin, cut the tomatoes in half and squeeze out the seeds. Cut them into 1/2 inch dice and set aside.
Prepare the remaining ingredients and set aside to have ready for the final assembly of the dish.
Bring the water to a boil in a large pot. Add the salt and reboil before adding the pasta. Cook according to the package directions, about 10 minutes or until al dente. Immediately drain the pasta and place into a large serving bowl.
Add the oil to the cooked pasta and toss well. Now add the ingredients in quick succession: tomatoes, red pepper, basil, salt and pepper. Toss everything together and incorporate well.
Top with optional ricotta salata cheese.
� Michael Lomonaco 1998