Pasta con sugo al pomodoro e ricotta salata

(by Marco Cagetti)

This is a very quick pasta sauce that you can prepare while cooking pasta, and does not require any prior preparation.

This quantity should serve 4 people (and more).



Put abundant water in a large pan with salt (may be three or four tablespoons, but that's up to you, everybody likes a different degree of saltiness) and put on high fire. Cut the 2 or 3 small tomatoes in small pieces (not the cherry ones, that will be added later). Pour the oil in a large frying pan, on medium fire, and add the whole cloves of garlic. Using whole cloves (instead of cutting them) will create a milder flavor. When the garlic is golden (one minute), add the tomatoes. Be careful, if the oil is very hot, it will splatter over the whole kitchen when you add watery substances (such as tomatoes). May be you want to cool it down a little. However, if you leave the garlic in hot oil, it will overcook. After the tomatoes, add also the capers, the salt, peper and other spices according to taste.

Meanwhile, when the water boils, add the pasta and cook for the amount of time indicated (do not overcook), mixing it from time to time. While the pasta is cooking, cook the sauce in the frying pan, mixing the tomatoes continuously. When the tomatoes start dissolving (after a couple of minutes), add the cherry ones. The sauce should be ready in a couple of minutes. The regular tomatoes should be completely dissolved, while the cherry ones should be just tender, but not dissolved. The sauce will most likely be ready before the pasta.

When the pasta is ready, drain it and then add it to the frying pan. Fry for thirty second, so that the pasta absorbs the sauce thoroughly. Serve with superthin slices or ricotta salata on top. (Serve extra slices of ricotta salata on the table, so people can add). Since some people like very salty pasta, bring the salt and the pepper to the table as well, so people can add as they like. An extra touch would be to heat the dishes in the oven before serving the pasta (remember then to use an oven glove when carrying and serving the dishes, otherwise you'll get burnt).

If you don't have ricotta salata, you can use regular grated parmesan. It tastes great too, although ricotta salata is more original and looks better.