Sunday, September 19, 2010

Spaghetti with olive oil, garlic, herbs and ricotta

This is one of those simple sauces that i love! When we started making it, it was going to be an "olio aglio" but found a small amount of ricotta in the fridge so in it went, along with some of the basil we have growing in the courtyard :)

So simple, so good! :)

It's a slight variation on Spaghetti "olio aglio", with a few bits and pieces added.

Ingredients for about 2 people:

Garlic, chopped, 6 cloves (about 3 per person)
Dried chilli (flakes not powder), to your taste (omit if that's your taste :P)
An excellent extra virgin olive oil.
Pepper, salt
Small handful of fresh herbs, i used basil
50g ricotta (mashed well if bought by weight, or stirred if the tub stuff)
Plenty of good grating cheese (grana padano, parmiggiano, pecorino, etc), to serve.

Prepare a pot of water for pasta.  Add plenty of salt.  The sauce below takes less than 5 minutes so i normally prepare all the ingredients, and cook the sauce while the pasta cooks.  Cook the pasta about a minute less than the instructions as you will be adding it to the sauce frypan

Use a largish frying pan (as you will be adding the pasta).  Very gently sautee the garlic and chilli flakes in some olive oil for a minute or so.  really really gently, as you don't want the garlic to be browned at all! Just softened.

Add the ricotta and herbs to the garlic oil, season and stir until warmed through.  Don't worry if it looks a little curdled at this point, the oil and ricotta will emulsify when the pasta is added.

looks kinda separated but it'll come together wonderfully!
Drain the pasta when almost done, reserving about a cup of the liquid.

Add the pasta to the pan, and a little of the liquid just to allow the pasta to cook to perfection.

Toss the pasta and sauce, making sure it's evenly coated.  Taste to make sure that pasta is done (if it isn't, and there isn't much liquid, just add a little more of the pasta water and keep tossing it).

Serve with an extra sprinkle of raw olive oil, freshly ground pepper and plenty of grated cheese, and enjoy! :D


  1. just did this the other day fantastic, it came really good and its really easy and quick to do. keep up the good work :)

  2. Thanks Ian! :) It's great isn't it - this is definitely something i picked up from my dad (the mega quick pasta dishes, it's our version of "2 minute noodle" night)