Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The quick and the red

On days when the fan is going full blast, when pants come off before the door even shuts behind you, when the cat is doing her damndest to become one with the floor: these are days where boiling a pot of water is as close to cooking as you want to get.
Penne with tomatoes, olives and ricotta (adapted from Everyday Food)
Coarse salt
8 ounces pasta (penne, fusilli)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
10 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
2 teaspoons capers, rinsed
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/3 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
1/3 cup fresh basil, torn
Fresh ricotta cheese, for serving

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook until al dente. Drain. Drizzle with just enough oil to coat. Spread on a baking sheet, and refrigerate 10 minutes.

Using a hand blender or food processor, pulse sun-dried tomatoes, vinegar, capers, and garlic. Add oil in a slow, steady stream while blitzing and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Toss together pasta, sun-dried-tomato pesto, grape tomatoes, olives, basil, and salt. Transfer to serving plates. Top with a scoop of ricotta, drizzle with oil, and sprinkle with pepper.

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