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Orecchiette with tomato, basil and ricotta salata

Serves 4 to 6 people Servings


  • 1/3 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 3 pound fresh, ripe roma tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 pound orecchiette
  • 3 ounce ricotta salata


Baking Directions:

Total time from start to finish:  35 minutes1.  Peel the tomatoes, remove the seeds and cut into 1/2" dice.


  Place a pot for the pasta with at least 4 quarts of water over high heat.


  Put the chopped onion and the olive oil in a medium sauté pan and place over medium low heat.

  When the onions have turned to a rich golden color, add the diced tomatoes and turn the heat up to medium high.

  Chop or tear the basil into smaller pieces and add to the tomatoes.

  Season with salt and cook until the tomatoes have reduced and are no longer watery, about 15-20 minutes.


  When the tomatoes are almost done, add one tablespoon of salt to the boiling pasta water and put in the orecchiette.

  While the pasta is cooking use a peeler to shave the ricotta salata into very thin slices (it's okay if it crumbles).

  When the pasta is done, drain it well, toss it with the sauce and serve, topping it with the cheese shavings.

Note:  Although I prefer to sprinkle the cheese on top, some people like to toss it in with the sauce.

  Suitable alternatives for orecchiette are bucatini (sometimes called perciatelli) or penne.

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