Creamy Ricotta Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes
This bright, flavorful dish is so simple to make that you may find it becomes a favorite you come back to over and over again.
- 16 oz. spaghetti (use wheat/gluten-free if needed) broken in half
- 16 oz. cherry or grape tomatoes halved
- 3 cloves garlic minced, about 1 1/2 tsp.
- 4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 - 3/4 tsp. kosher salt, sea salt, or other coarse salt to taste
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese to taste
- 1/2 cup fresh basil sliced (or use mostly basil and a little fresh oregano, if you have it)
- 1/8 tsp. black pepper or to taste (optional)
- Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions until it is al dente, and drain it, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta’s cooking water.
- Meanwhile, in a large serving bowl, combine the tomatoes, garlic, 3 Tbsp. of the oil, and the kosher salt, and set it aside.
- Before draining the noodles, reserve 1/3 cup of the pasta water. Once you drain the noodles, immediately transfer the tomato mixture to the empty pasta pot and cook it over medium heat for 1 – 2 minutes until the tomatoes are hot and slightly softened.
- Meanwhile, put the pasta in the serving bowl and toss it with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, the ricotta cheese, the Asiago or Parmesan cheese, and the basil. (If it is a little dry at this point, add a splash of the reserved water from the pasta.)
- Top the spaghetti with the tomato mixture and serve it immediately, topped with freshly ground black pepper, if desired.
Slow Cooker Directions:
- Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker except the noodles, ricotta and Asiago cheeses and the basil. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. Add the cheeses and basil to the slow cooker approximately 15 minutes before serving. Serve over cooked pasta with a dash of pepper, if desired. (Slow cooker cooking times may vary—Get to know your slow cooker and, if necessary, adjust cooking times accordingly.)
Do Ahead or Delegate: Cook the spaghetti and store tossed with a little oil to prevent sticking, halve the tomatoes, peel the garlic, combine the ingredients for the tomato mixture, grate the cheese if necessary. Scramble Flavor Booster: Double the garlic and serve it sprinkled with crushed red pepper flakes. Tip: If you have leftovers of this dish, it makes for a delicious pasta salad for the next day’s lunch. If it needs a little moisture, just drizzle some balsamic vinaigrette on it. Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be! Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 296, Total Fat: 7g, 10%; Saturated Fat: 3g, 13.5%; Cholesterol: 13mg, 4.5%; Sodium: 203mg, 8.5%; Total Carbohydrate: 47g, 15.5%; Dietary Fiber: 3g, 10.5%; Sugar: 3g; Protein: 13g
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