It’s a beautiful Sunday at the Jersey shore. The temperature is 70° with blue skies, no humidity and wispy clouds above. I’m sitting at my computer reflecting on the delicious dish I made the other evening, Creamy Pasta with Ricotta and Herbs. The recipe is from Melissa Clark of The New York Times from her column “A Good Appetite.” The recipe was captivating as it was made with just a handful of ingredients and relied on fresh soft herbs for flavor. As you recall, I have lots of herbs in my garden this summer. For this recipe you’ll need a short pasta (shells, cavatappi, farfalle, ditali or wagon wheels), freshly grated Parmesan cheese, extra-virgin olive oil, coarsely ground black pepper and fresh soft herbs such basil, chives, fennel fronds, parsley, mint, tarragon, chervil or dill.
Ms. Clarke visited Sicily earlier this year and ate freshly made warm ricotta. The ricotta was unlike anything she ate before. The ricotta was used in a pasta dish she had the next day where it was combined some pasta water, olive oil, Parmesan cheese and herbs. While she lamented she would be unable to replicate the dish with farm fresh ricotta, using fresh ricotta tubs from the supermarket or specialty Italian market would suffice.
With this in mind, I visited Pastosa Ravioli in Manasquan NJ and picked up a small tub of ricotta along with farfalle pasta. At home, I snipped some basil, chives, parsley, dill and oregano. Oh…my…gosh, what a fabulous pasta dish! The combination of flavors from the herbs, cheeses, pepper and extra drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil made for a scrumptious meal! The fresh ricotta was dryer than the kind in plastic containers. The wonderful cream sauce complemented the pasta. My husband and I devoured our supper and went back for just a bit more. My daughter tried some when she was here over the weekend, but found the dill, for her taste, a bit overpowering. Ms. Clark recommends using at least three kinds of herbs for this dish.
Creamy Pasta with Ricotta and Herbs
Melissa Clark | “A Good Appetite”
The New York Times, June 1, 2022
Yield: 4 Servings
Time: 20 Minutes
“In this simple, springy pasta, milky ricotta thinned out with a little starchy pasta cooking water makes for a saucy, soupy dish that’s seasoned with loads of black pepper and herbs. For the best flavor, use at least three different kinds of herbs, break out some nicer olive oil and look for fresh ricotta. Lemon lovers can grate in the zest of half a lemon as well.”
1-pound short pasta, such as shells, cavatappi, chiocciole, farfalle, ditali or wagon wheels
12 ounces fresh, whole-milk ricotta (about 1 1/2 cups)
¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper, plus more for serving
2 ½ cups coarsely chopped soft herbs, such as basil, chives, fennel fronds, parsley, mint, tarragon, chervil or dill (try for a combination of at least 3 kinds.
A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.