Ahhhh, spring…can any season be more vibrant?? My roses have exploded with a burst of incredible color; my little tomato plants are nestled comfortably in their little garden cages and daylight seems to go on forever. Incredible. Magical. How special to open a bottle of vino with loved ones (this one a delightful Rosso di Montalcino from one of my fav vineyards, Uccelliera…yum) and cook simple, fresh food that brings the taste buds alive. This dish with ricotta and fresh roasted tomatoes is so, so simple and so, so delightful. I roasted the tomatoes here but in the heat of summer, I usually saute on the stove top with a bit of garlic to keep the heat down in the kitchen. Either method produces a riot of flavors for the palate – from the burst of the tomatoes to the creaminess of the ricotta. You won’t be disappointed….enjoy this glorious time of year! Ciao ciao!
Pasta with Ricotta and Roasted Tomatoes
1 basket of cherry tomatoes, about 25 or so, halved
3 cloves of garlic, slivered
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound of penne
Reserved pasta water
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup grated Pecorino cheese
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 glass baking dish
1 large pot to cook pasta
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large glass baking dish, mix together the tomatoes, garlic and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place the tomatoes in the oven and roast until tender, stirring occasionally, about 35-40 minutes. Remove from the oven.
2. In a large pot of salted water, cook the pasta according to package directions until ‘al dente’. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1 cup of pasta cooking liquid.
3. Place the cooked pasta back in the pot. Add in the ricotta cheese and stir to combine. Add in about 1/4 cup of the pasta water and stir to combine. Continue to add pasta water if needed to create a creamy sauce.
4. Stir in the tomato mixture and the toasted pine nuts. Stir in the grated pecorino and chopped basil.
5. Place pasta in a heated bowl. Drizzle with additional extra virgin olive oil and serve immediately! Buon Appetito!