Fresh Tomato Sauce w/ Ricotta & your favorite Pasta

Receta favorita de Api
New York Times August 24, 2015



5 pounds of tomatoes
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 garlic clove, halved
1 basil sprig
1 bay leaf


TIME: 30 minutes
YIELD: 4 to 6 servings

1 pound pasta, such as farfalle or penne
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons butter, softened
Crushed red pepper (optional)
2 ½ cups Quick Fresh Tomato Sauce, warm (see recipe below)
6 ounces ultra-fresh ricotta, at room temperature
Grated pecorino
Basil leaves, for garnish


The Sauce

  1. Cut the tomatoes in halves or quarters. Squeeze out the seeds and discard, if you wish, or don’t (I never mind a few seeds in the sauce). Using a hand held grater, place the cut side of the tomato against the large holes of the grater and gently rub until only the tomato skin remains in your hand.Press the cut side of tomato against the large holes of a box grater and grate tomato flesh into a bowl. Discard skins. You should have about 4 cups.
  2. Put the tomato pulp in a skillet over medium heat, add the peeled tomatoes, add a pinch of salt, a little olive oil, a garlic clove and a sprig of basil.Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a brisk simmer.A spoonful of tomato paste helps thicken the sauce.
  3. Reduce the sauce by almost half, stirring occasionally, to produce about 2 1/2 cups medium-thick sauce. Let it simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Taste and adjust salt. It will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator and may be frozen.

The Pasta:

  1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of well-salted water, making sure to keep it quite al dente.
  2. Put butter in a wide deep skillet over medium heat. Add drained pasta to the pan and season with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper, if using.
  3. Add tomato sauce gradually and stir to coat pasta, using only enough sauce for a light coating (you may not need the entire 2 1/2 cups).
  4. Transfer pasta to a warm serving bowl and dot top with spoonfuls of ricotta. Sprinkle lightly with pecorino and garnish with a few torn basil leaves.

How to peel and grate the tomatoes:

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Comment by luigi romano

“As a neapolitan who had this dish many times in the distant past, the recipe is slightly different.
To make the creamy tomato sauce, the method suggested is useless it will probably grate your hand not just the tomatoes. Just cook the fresh tomatoes, cut in four parts, with e. v. o. oil, garlic, few lives of basilico, for ten minutes. Until all is very tender and creamy. Then strain it all with a spoon and let all the cream out. Finish the cooking of the sauce few more minutes together with the pasta you have chosen. In a dish put a lot of “ricotta” at least 100 grams, and then throw the pasta on the ricotta and mix it all.”

Buon appetito!