Pop’s Primo Cheese Pasta with Cherry Tomato Sauce

Pop’s Primo Cheese Pasta with Cherry Tomato Sauce
Easy tomato sauce

Arthur Bovino

Pop’s Primo Cheese Pasta with Cherry Tomato Sauce

My father had a rotation of a few go-to dishes he would make for me and my sister when my mother was working or studying, and one of them is an easy, but still super-tasty favorite of mine: ricotta, pasta, and tomato sauce. Usually he went with rotelli. He’d make the pasta, throw it in a bowl with the ricotta while it was still warm a few times, and then toss it with tomato sauce. It’s creamy and tangy, and it’s replete with all the true simple goodness and flavor of growing up in an Italian-American household. I play with this recipe all the time, throwing in cold goat cheese at the last second, fancying up the pasta, making my own sauce, but at the base of it, this is Pop’s dish. Here, instead of using a jar of sauce, you can make a simple homemade cherry tomato sauce in less than 20 minutes, and used some fancypants stracciatella and ricotta with homemade garganelli from Eataly. It’s a much more expensive version of a dish whose inspiration was kind of totally the complete opposite: a reasonably priced, soul-satisfying, red-sauce dinner. Why? Because it takes all those quintessential flavors to their next level. Regardless, let’s just say by the time you boil your water, it will be ready to go. And hey Pop, thanks for dinner.

Click here to see It's Time for a Cherry Tomato Fiesta — 11 Great Recipes.

4
Servings
320
Calories Per Serving
Deliver Ingredients

Notes

*Note: You can also use an equivalent amount of burrata or fresh mozzarella.
 

Ingredients

For the cherry tomato sauce

  • 1  Tablespoon  olive oil
  • 1  Tablespoon  butter
  • cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/3  Cup  water
  • pints cherry tomatoes
  • bay leaf
  • Pinch of  salt
  • Pinch of  pepper
  • Dash of  red pepper flakes
  • 1  Tablespoon  minced basil

For the pasta

  • Salt, to taste
  • 1  Pound  fresh garganelli or dried rotelli
  • pieces stracciatella*
  • 15  Ounces  ricotta
  • 1  Tablespoon  grated Parmesan
  • 1  Tablespoon  basil, minced

Directions

For the cherry tomato sauce

Warm the oil and butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the crushed garlic and simmer momentarily. Add the tomatoes, water, and bay leaf, and cover for 10 minutes.

Then, add the salt, pepper, red chile pepper flakes, basil, and cook, stirring, until all the tomatoes burst, about 10-15 more minutes. Adjust the seasoning, and serve.

For the pasta

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Then, add salt, to taste. Cook the pasta until al dente and drain, reserving a ladleful of salted-starchy pasta water to add to your sauce (make sure to reduce it on high heat accordingly).

Cut the stracciatella into 4 pieces. In a large bowl, mix together the stracciatella and ricotta. Toss the pasta with the cheese. Ladle the sauce into the bottom of a bowl, ladle in the cheese-coated pasta, top with some sauce, Parmesan, and basil, and serve.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
15g
21%
Sugar
9g
10%
Saturated Fat
4g
17%
Cholesterol
74mg
25%
Carbohydrate, by difference
17g
13%
Protein
29g
63%
Vitamin A, RAE
32µg
5%
Vitamin B-12
1µg
42%
Vitamin B-6
1mg
77%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
2mg
3%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
67µg
74%
Calcium, Ca
224mg
22%
Choline, total
86mg
20%
Fiber, total dietary
5g
20%
Folate, total
19µg
5%
Iron, Fe
6mg
33%
Magnesium, Mg
53mg
17%
Niacin
9mg
64%
Pantothenic acid
1mg
20%
Phosphorus, P
306mg
44%
Selenium, Se
37µg
67%
Sodium, Na
492mg
33%
Thiamin
1mg
91%
Vitamin D (D2 + D3)
1µg
7%
Water
186g
7%
Zinc, Zn
4mg
50%

Cheese Shopping Tip

If a piece of cheese smells strongly of ammonia, don't buy it. This is typically a sign of spoilage.

Cheese Cooking Tip

Allow cheese to come to room temperature before serving. This will accentuate the flavors and aromas.