Quick & Easy Italian: Spaghetti with Cherry Tomatoes and Ricotta

I’m back from a fishing trip to Mexico. It’s something I’ve been doing for years. It’s so enjoyable, and when I return  I’m refreshed and ready to tackle my projects with gusto. It’s a high point of my summer. Now that I’m back, I want to savor another high point of summer: the wonderful field-grown tomatoes now at their seasonal peak. My colleagues and I like our tomato dishes simple, letting the bold, sweet flavor speak for itself. The pasta recipe featured here fits that bill. (Click here to see recipe.) Spaghetti with Cherry Tomatoes and Ricotta Rocco

The Italian-style dish – which comes together while the spaghetti is cooking – shows off the classic pairing of tomatoes, garlic, and extra virgin olive oil. In this case, cherry tomatoes are used.  A generous dollop of ricotta cheese gives the dish a final flourish. The recipe comes from Made in Italy (Clarkson Potter, 2011), by TV chef David Rocco.

Here’s how it’s made. While the spaghetti boils, crushed garlic cloves and cherry tomatoes are cooked a few minutes in olive oil. (You could use our Everyday Fresh oil.) “You want the tomatoes to soften and the garlic to brown just slightly,” Rocco explains. “When that happens, the garlic has done its job, so remove and discard it.”

The ricotta and a cup of hot spaghetti water are added to the saucepan. “The hot water will break down the ricotta and give it a gorgeous, creamy, velvety texture,” Rocco adds.  (Click here to see recipe.)

The cooked spaghetti and more water are added and the ingredients are combined until the water is reduced. Add some basil and give each serving a finishing drizzle of oil. (I’d use our Arbequina to give the pasta a fruity note.) That’s it!

You can find more quick and easy tomato recipes in our August eNewsletter. (Click here to see eNewsletter.)

Bon appétit,

California Olive Ranch Master Miller Bob Singletary