I also agree with Pam…also, freezing it not only makes it taste a little better, it also seems to thicken up a little more in the process.
For smaller portions though, if you’re following a recipe to the ‘t’ and it specifically calls for a 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes, you may want to use two 14.5 oz. cans of tomatoes instead, as they contain more tomatoes and less juice the a 28 oz. Again, something to consider if you’re going the specific recipe route.
What I do when I’m making a smaller batch that won’t make it to the freezer, but is meant to be consumed that morning (oops, I meant to say evening…I am so busted), I take whatever size can(s) I’ll be using for that meal and let them drain through a strainer (the kind one uses to sift flour) thoroughly, at least half an hour, shaking and moving them around several times. Once that is separated, I put the juice into a separate pan, season it, and reduce it by half or so, depending on what type of pasta I am using.
I then fry up the tomatoes in a separate pan in some olive oil, adding the seasonings of my choice as they cook on high heat until most of the moisture has been removed. When the tomato juice is at the desired consistency, I add it to the tomatoes and continue cooking it until the pasta is ready.
Regarding the cooked pasta, I drain it thoroughly via a metal strainer with the little legs or a colander, put it in a bowl and immediately add a small amount of sauce to it, just enough to prevent it from sticking together, then guests can add the amount of sauce they choose. If the sauce is on the watery side, I use tongs so each time I add pasta to the serving bowl, I’m also adding starchy water to help thicken it up.
I never wash the pasta first for myself, even if I know ahead of time I will finish cooking it in a pan, unless it's for guests who may not care for the starchier taste like most do.
“I eat a lot of pasta. I cook it Al dente. I really don’t like it that way, I just-can’t –wait!”
(unknown comedienne circa 1992)