Tuesday, April 21, 2009

ricotta pasta...summer style

well here we are back in san francisco after a fabulous weekend in boston! i heard it was in the 90s (!) here while we were gone, but summer has decided to stick around for us a little longer as it is still hothothot today. kris and i had a hankering for the cashew ricotta from veganomicon but this weather just doesn't scream baked ziti (our usual ricotta pasta). instead we went for something quicker, lighter and much more summery. light on the pasta with lots of bright green blanched broccoli and a sauce of barely cooked tomatoes and garlic topped with refreshing dollops of ricotta. this made four large servings so you could even cut down on the pasta a bit more.

summer ricotta pasta
1/2 pound pasta
1 large head of broccoli, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/2 - 1 cup fresh basil, chopped
salt and pepper
olive oil
dollops of ricotta (recipe below)

while pasta is cooking, chop broccoli, leaving florets fairly large. add to the pasta pot for the last couple minutes of cooking to blanch. drain with the noodles.

heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. add garlic and cook a few minutes until fragrant. add tomato chunks and cook until heated through and just beginning to break down. season with a bit of salt and pepper. remove from heat and stir in the basil.

add tomato mixture to the noodles/broccoli and toss to combine. serve with several dollops of ricotta.

cashew ricotta
(from veganomicon)
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1 lb firm tofu, drained and crumbled
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil*

combine first 4 ingredients in food processor. puree to thick paste.
add tofu and blend until smooth.
blend in salt and basil

*erin gave me a gigantic bag of herbs de provence (and the amount she passed on to me does not even compare to the enormous quantity hiding out in her cabinet...and i hear i was not even the first to receive some. seriously. she has a ton of herbs de provence), which i was very excited to use. we used it in place of the dried basil (and then added a little more basil for an herbier ricotta). experiment with your own herb combinations!


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