Recipe – SPAGHETTI WITH RICOTTA AND BASIL

Pastas are loved by people across the globe. Found in various shapes and sizes, these beauties are so versatile that it can be cooked in many different ways. Makes a great weekend dinner or can be carried in lunch boxes too.

Spaghetti with fresh ricotta and basil is simple, quick, healthy and delicious; even a finicky eater would enjoy. If ricotta cheese is unavailable, can use paneer/cottage cheese instead; I have made this dish with paneer and it tastes great.

Here are some key areas to look out when following this recipe. Use good quality pasta. Fill lots of water in a large thick bottom stainless steel pot so that the pasta can move freely; don’t be stingy on that! When the water reaches boiling point, add salt generously; wait for a minute and then add the pasta. Once the pasta is fully submerged, gently stir with a wooden spoon, occasionally. Cook pasta till al dente; never over-cook. Drain it in a colander. Sometimes, I directly put the pasta into the sauce. Save little pasta water to make the sauce more flavourful. The sauce should only coat the pasta.

An incredibly easy, simple, flavourful and delicious spaghetti tossed with ricotta cheese, in tomato sauce, with the goodness of fresh basil and topped with parmesan to satisfy hunger pangs anytime.

prep time : 8 mins, cooking time :20 minutes, serves: 2, cuisine : italian, author : gloria

Ingredients

200 gms spaghetti

rock marine salt to cook pasta

water

1/4 cup ricotta (drained)

Olive oil

1 chilli pepper (minced) (optional)

1 onion (finely chopped)

1 big garlic clove (minced)

1 tomato (finely chopped)

1/4 cup tomato puree (home-made or store bought)

a pinch of sugar

few fresh basil leaves

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

EVOO (extra virgin olive oil for drizzling)

parmesan cheese to taste

Method

Place a large pot of water on the stove-top. Once it comes to a rolling boil, add salt generously. Stir. Now, add spaghetti and cook till al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/4 cup of pasta water.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan over medium heat; add onion, garlic, chilli pepper, tomato and 2 pinches of salt. Saute and cook till everything is soft and well combined.

Now, add tomato puree, sugar and the reserved pasta water. Mix well and simmer on low heat for 6-7 minutes or until slightly thickened. Add freshly ground pepper.

Remove from the heat and spoon the ricotta into the tomato sauce, mix quickly. Do a taste-test and adjust seasoning, if needed.

Combine spaghetti and the sauce in a bowl; top it with fresh basil leaves; sprinkle some grated parmesan and drizzled EVOO. Serve piping hot immediately!

Buon Appetito!!

my observations/notes:

– use fresh ripened tomatoes

– can substitute tomatoes with sun dried tomatoes

– can use paneer instead of ricotta cheese

– can use chilli flakes instead of chilli pepper

– i whisked the ricotta however, just crumbling the ricotta would be a good idea

– leave little ricotta for the garnish which i missed out.

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