Pop’s Primo Cheese Pasta with Cherry Tomato Sauce

Pop’s Primo Cheese Pasta with Cherry Tomato Sauce
Contributor
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
390
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
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/3 Cup water
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 1 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
  • 4 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
21g
30%
Sugar
2g
2%
Saturated Fat
12g
50%
Cholesterol
107mg
36%
Carbohydrate, by difference
10g
8%
Protein
38g
83%
Vitamin A, RAE
153µg
22%
Vitamin B-12
1µg
42%
Vitamin B-6
1mg
77%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
1mg
1%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
16µg
18%
Calcium, Ca
383mg
38%
Choline, total
104mg
24%
Folate, total
24µg
6%
Iron, Fe
3mg
17%
Magnesium, Mg
45mg
14%
Niacin
9mg
64%
Pantothenic acid
2mg
40%
Phosphorus, P
496mg
71%
Riboflavin
1mg
91%
Selenium, Se
56µg
100%
Sodium, Na
314mg
21%
Thiamin
1mg
91%
Vitamin D (D2 + D3)
1µg
7%
Water
182g
7%
Zinc, Zn
5mg
63%

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.