Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Pasta with Sweet Tomato Sauce and Baked Ricotta

On Saturday night, I made an amazing dinner. I'm eating pescetarian for Lent, and Joe isn't the biggest fan, but I'm the cook so I make the rules. But when I make dinners like this, I don't hear a peep from him about them being vegetarian. I even made homemade noodles for only the second time ever in between cheering for the Vanderbilt Men's basketball team against Kentucky (they failed to tie it up in the last 2.5 seconds). The problem? The picture I took is incredibly unappetizing, even for my low photography standards. But I still want to post the recipe because it was SO delicious. I particularly loved the addition of balsamic vinegar to the tomato sauce as it gave the sauce a very distinct flavor. If you would like to see a picture, I will send you to Cate's blog and Bridget's blog, both of whose photography skills far outrank mine even on a good day and who I hope will convince you to make this dish. It's the perfect match for homemade noodles, even if you don't have a pasta machine. I just made the dough and rolled it out very thin and then cut the noodles with a pizza cutter.

Pasta with Sweet Tomato Sauce and Baked Ricotta
source: Jamie Oliver via Cate's World Kitchen

1 15-ounce container ricotta, drained in a cheesecloth-lined strainer for a few hours
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
salt and pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes in juice
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar (if needed)
1 pound wide pasta, such as pappardelle
a handful of fresh basil, torn
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan

After you’ve drained the ricotta, preheat the oven to 400F. Put a piece of parchment on a baking sheet and put the ricotta in the center. Flatten it so you have a 1″ thick disk.

Rub all over with 1 tbsp olive oil, then sprinkle with oregano, salt and pepper. Bake for about 15 minutes, then remove and set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil to cook the pasta.

Heat the other tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and cook over medium until soft, 3 or 4 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and simmer for about 15 minutes, then crush the tomatoes with a spoon. Taste and add sugar (optional), salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar.

When the pasta is cooked, drain and reserve some of the pasta water.

Toss the cooked with the sauce and a tablespoon or two of pasta water and the tomato sauce, and basil. Crumble up the ricotta and add to the pasta with the parmesan cheese.


ashupe said...

I'm glad you linked to some other pictures of it, since it's so pretty. I'm starring this for our menu. It's amazing how not complicated homemade pasta can be, though we'll probably make it with packaged pasta, since we have a ton of that right now.

I think homemade ricotta is going to be my new "thing," so I'm excited to try it in this dish.

Karine said...

Great recipe. It sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing :)

Here In Franklin said...

I've never seen that technique for ricotta before...I'll remember it.