Ziti al Pomodoro con Ricotta Salata (Tomato)

45 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x


  • 1 pound ziti (or penne lisce)
  • 1 can (28+ ounces) of Italian tomatoes, peeled, with basil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 45 basil leaves, chopped
  • 4 ounces ricotta salata, coarsely grated

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  1. Puree the tomatoes in a blender or pass them through a food mill. In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the onion in the olive oil until golden. Add the tomatoes, and salt and pepper and the basil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20-30 minutes, until reduced.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain it well and add it to the sauce, and then mix well over medium heat. Serve immediately with a generous sprinkle of ricotta salata.

Ed's Review

In Sweden, as the expression goes, when you pay someone back with gammal ost (old cheese), you are getting revenge. In Italy, when someone pays you back with old cheese, say for example, a chunk of  24-month aged Parmigiano-Reggiano, you give them a big hug and a nice kiss.

Ricotta is an old cheese in different sense.  Dating back to the Bronze Age, the Etruscans and then the Roman aristocracy loved their ricotta, and there are urns and graters to prove it.

Ricotta can be made from sheep, cow, goat, or Bufala. Literally meaning "recooked," the fermented whey is heated to near boiling and then cooled and passed through a fine cloth.  Ricotta salata (or secca or stagionata) is made when fresh ricotta is left to drain for a few days and is then salted with coarse sea salt and aged up to 60 days.

So get yourself some gammal ost, Italian style, and grate it atop your favorite pasta. Revenge has never tasted so sweet.

Buon Appetito!

Edwin Garrubbo

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