Please do not hold a grudge on me, my Roman friends, but let’s admit that the Roman cuisine is essentially oriented to the “basics” and to a rusticity that I often do not appreciate. Yet, give credit where credit is due: there are excellent recipes among the Roman ones too, and what I am describing today is exactly one of them, a very easy pasta, though rich in taste and flavour. The must is the ricotta cheese: it has to be the best you can afford.
- 400 gr rigatoni
- 300 gr ricotta cheese
- 80 gr parmesan, freshly grated
- 14 date or cherry tomatoes
- 1 bunch fresh basil
- 5 tbsp extravirgin olive oil of extra good quality, plus extra to garnish
- black pepper, freshly ground, to your taste
In a large bowl whisk by hand the ricotta, parmesan and pepper until creamy. Dice the tomatoes to super tiny cubes and add to the ricotta mixture, together with the basil leaves, washed, drained, pat-dried and cut by hand into small stripes. Season with the oil and let rest for 2 hours at room temperature. Add some sea salt only before serving.
Boil the rigatoni in salted water (keep 1 cup of water in case the sauce is too thick), transfer to the bowl with the sauce and toss everything together. Add a further glug of oil, salt to your taste, some extra pepper and serve.