leftover ricotta salata


I had leftover ricotta salata (and pine nuts) from that pasta I made over the weekend. Time to improvise. I started with a basic recipe I make (from memory) from an old book I worked on with chef Mark Strausman many years ago. The book is out of print and rare these days, so if you ever come across one, buy it. I swear I’ve got the whole thing memorized at this point, and every recipe is a winner. Anyway, back to my dinner. I winged it. I had half of a red onion, so I chopped it up and sauteed it in about 1/4 cup of olive oil. I tossed in 2 cloves of chopped garlic and a little crushed red pepper. Then I added about a tablespoon of capers and a few marinated olives I had in the fridge. In went a can of crushed tomatoes, and then I simmered the mixture, stirring often, for about 15 minutes. Oh wait, I forgot to mention the herbs. My oregano and basil plants are looking great (especially the basil), so I chopped up some of each and threw that in too. I tossed everything with about 3/4 pound of cooked penne and a bit of salt, and it would have been fine there, but the goal was to use up my leftovers. So I grated some ricotta salata over the top, and added some toasted pine nuts too. Perfecto.


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