Ciao'd while watching America swim. GOLD!!!!!
FUSILLI WITH TOMATOES AND HERBED RICOTTA
Full disclosure: I have never been a fusilli fan. It reminds me of soggy deli pasta salads. And then I came across fusilli corti bucati. It's the same shape but smaller and hollow; more like a spring than a corkscrew. I figured, why not? If you cannot get over the fusilli hump, opt for another pasta shape that will hold the sauce such as orecchiette (which is what we use in Puglia), rigatoni or penne rigate (this is the penne with grooves).
Serves 4 to 6
¼ cup + 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
One 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound fusilli corti bucati, or other pasta that will hold the sauce such as penne rigate
1 cup whole-milk ricotta
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
¼ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for the table
In a heavy medium pot over moderate heat, warm the ¼ cup olive oil. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until the garlic turns just golden, about 4 to 5 minutes. Discard the garlic and add the tomatoes with their juice, and salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 20 minutes. Taste for seasoning and remove from the heat.
As the sauce cooks, bring a large pot of water to boil. When it boils, salt the water, and add the pasta. Cook the pasta according to package directions until it is al dente.
As the pasta cooks, in a small bowl, mix the ricotta cheese, remaining tablespoon of olive oil, the herbs, and the Pecorino cheese. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Drain the pasta, reserving about ½ cup of the pasta water. Return the pasta to the pot in which it was cooked along with the tomato sauce. Toss to coat the pasta with the sauce, adding pasta water to adjust the consistency to your liking. Taste for seasoning and adjust to your liking. Serve the pasta in individual bowls with a generous dollop of the herbed ricotta cheese on top. Pass more Pecorino at the table.