Winter Weekday: Fusilli with Cherry Tomatoes and Ricotta

January 14, 2010

We have noticed a surplus of winter cherry tomatoes in the grocery stores and even found some at the farmers’ market this past weekend. This is probably because they are “little jewels on the vines” that grow well in greenhouse conditions. Beyond eating them raw as a super-healthy snack, here is a quick weekday recipe that puts them to delicious use with only a few pantry items.

2 pints cherry tomatoes
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 c. fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish
1/2 c. (plus extra for serving) Parmigiano reggiano, grated
Good olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 c. ricotta cheese
1 lb. fusilli or orecchiette pasta

Cut cherry tomatoes in half and place in a bowl with garlic, 1/4 c. basil (chopped) and 1/2 c. parmigiano reggiano. Add about 3 Tbls. olive oil and a generous pinch of salt and a good grinding of pepper. Let stand for 15 minutes.

Cook pasta in boiling, salted water until al dente. Drain. While pasta is draining, place tomato mixture in pasta pot, give it a little heat (only for about 1 minute, while stirring), and then add pasta to the pan a little at a time, until pasta is well-coated. Add more olive oil, if needed. Stir in ricotta cheese. Garnish with a basil leave or two. Serve with grated parmigiano reggiano.

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