Rigatoni with Marinara & Ricotta

Are we ready for Fall?

What I'm really asking is if we're ready for all the Fall recipes I have planned for you.  I'm in between jobs this week (starting my new gig on Monday!) and I've basically channeled my energy into cooking as much food as a human can.  I'm also saving some energy for working out, hanging with friends, and trying to weasel my way into a Yoga & Kitties class (WHY is this class full on the only day I can go to it!).

I want to kick things off with a simple pasta dish.  This is one of those recipes I've had on my "to make" list for a very long time, but I put it off because it's so simple!  Yes, I know that doesn't make sense, but it's true.  The other day, I was reminded how such simple dishes could be amazing.  I was out at a restaurant where I ate pasta tossed with cheese and black pepper.  It was to-die-for!  I didn't even order the dish and I might have eaten almost half of it.  My baddddd.

But back to this rigatoni.  I'm so glad I got around to making it finally because it was every bit as delicious as ALL the reviews indicated.  I'll never again underestimate the power of simplicity.

Rigatoni with Ricotta
very slightly adapted from Shutterbean

Print Recipe

  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes in juice
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4-6 fresh basil leaves, torn into strips
  • 1 lb rigatoni
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • Parmesan cheese, grated (or Pecorino Romano)

1) In a large pot over medium heat, cook the garlic and red pepper flakes in the olive oil.  Stir the mixture for about 2-3 minutes, or until the garlic is golden.

2) Add the can of tomatoes, along with their juice.*  Toss in the salt.  Simmer the sauce uncovered until the sauce has thickened, about 20 minutes.

* If you want a smoother tomato sauce, you can choose to blend the tomatoes slightly before using them.  I went with this option!

3)  Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a pot of salted boiling water until it is al dente.  Drain the pasta.

4) Take the pot of sauce off the heat once the 20 minutes have elapsed.  Stir in the basil.  Add more salt to taste, if necessary.

5) In a large bowl, combine the pasta and the sauce until incorporated.

6) Serve with ricotta and grated Parmesan on the side.