1 pound penne or ziti rigate
2 cups ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano cheese
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 cup frozen green peas
A generous handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
20 fresh basil leaves, shredded or torn
1 cup halved grape tomatoes
Place the ricotta, butter, and Parmigiano or Romano in a large bowl.
Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the EVOO and onions and cook for 5 minutes. Add the peas and parsley and cook for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat.
Drain the pasta. Add to the bowl with the cheese. Toss to melt the butter and evenly coat the pasta with cheese, then season with salt and pepper. Top the pasta with the peas, basil, and halved grape tomatoes. Season with a little salt. Toss and serve at the table.
I made this for lunch today at my sister-in-law's house. I only made half the recipe. It was pretty good. I normally don't like ricotta that much, but I think today I was hungry enough to enjoy it.
RR says, "This dish can be made 100 ways. It's one of the first dishes you eat as an Italian kid: macaroni with butter and ricotta cheese. Once you grow up, you add stuff in, but the base remains the same. I'll try to limit myself and just give you my top five versions." I will spread these out over the next 2 weeks, so we won't have ricotta pasta 5 days straight!