A few weeks back I was talking to my Mom about quick and easy pasta dishes. She mentioned that my grandfather used to make pasta and toss it with fresh ricotta cheese, a little grated pecorino and salt & pepper. I thought that was a great idea and planned on trying it out, eventually.
I say eventually because it is officially tomato season, one of my favorite times of the year, and I am obsessed with tomatoes right now. This week I picked up some really nice heirloom cherry and grape tomatoes from a local farm. I was going to make Pasta with Grape Tomatoes with them but then I thought, hey why not combine the two. Hence, a new favorite was born, Pasta with Fresh Ricotta and Grape Tomatoes!
For this recipe I decided to use Garganelli as the pasta. Garganelli is a little hard to find, and costs a bit more, but it really works well here. It is kind of shaped like penne, but the lines go around the pasta rather than lengthwise, and because it is handmade rather than extruded there is a visible seam where the pasta is rolled together. Being handmade, the pasta has extra texture that makes it hold on to the Ricotta nicely. The other big difference is that it is made with egg, whereas penne is only flour and water. I would encourage you to try and find it (you can find a link to buy it from Amazon at the bottom of this post), but if you can’t, go ahead and use penne or fussili.
So, please go out and get some of those good summer tomatoes and some fresh ricotta and give this one a shot! It’s so easy and so tasty. You will thank me.Print
- 1/2 pound Garganelli pasta
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
- 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino-Romano Cheese
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 3 large basil leaves
- In a medium sauté pan heat extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook stirring occasionally until lightly browned.
- Add the tomatoes to the pan and season with a pinch of salt and a couple of turns of the pepper mill.
- Cook the tomatoes, stirring occasionally until they have softened and started to release their juices 5-10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring a pot of liberally salted water to a boil, add the Garganelli and cook until al dente.
- Reserve about 1/2 a cup of the pasta cooking water, then strain the pasta and transfer to a large serving bowl.
- Add the ricotta and Pecorino-Romano to the pasta and season with salt & pepper. Mix up the pasta, adding the reserved pasta water a tablespoon at a time until the ricotta coats the pasta nicely without being too thick. Should be about 1-3 tablespoons of water to get it to the right consistency.
- Add 1/2 of the sautéed tomatoes and mix again, incorporating the tomatoes with their juices.
- Dish out the pasta into serving plates, topping with the remaining tomatoes. Garnish with the basil and serve.
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