Pasta with Ricotta and Sweet Tomato Sauce

I've seen this recipe on a few blogs lately and really wanted to try it. The idea of baked ricotta sounded like heaven on a plate to me, and basically that and every other part of this recipe is totally easy to make.

And it's so, so good. This meal would be a really good one for serving to a large group of people, if you had friends over, family in town, etc. It's not fancy, but it's so good.

I made just a few changes, and I've noted them below. We will definitely make this again soon.

Pasta with Sweet Tomato Sauce and Baked Ricotta
from Food alla Puttanesca, and others.

1 15-ounce container ricotta, drained in a cheesecloth-lined strainer for a few hours
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
salt and pepper
1 tsp dried oregano*
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes in juice
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar**
1/2 tsp sugar (if needed)***
1 pound wide pasta, such as pappardelle****
a handful of fresh basil, torn
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan*****

After you’ve drained the ricotta, preheat the oven to 400F. Put a piece of parchment on a baking sheet and put the ricotta in the center. Flatten it so you have a 1″ thick disk.

Rub all over with 1 tbsp olive oil, then sprinkle with oregano******, salt and pepper. Bake for about 15 minutes, then remove and set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil to cook the pasta.

Heat the other tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and cook over medium until soft, 3 or 4 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and simmer for about 15 minutes, then crush the tomatoes with a spoon. Taste and add sugar (optional), salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar.

When the pasta is cooked, drain and reserve some of the pasta water.

Toss the cooked with the sauce and a tablespoon or two of pasta water and the tomato sauce, and basil. Crumble up the ricotta and add to the pasta with the parmesan cheese.

*I omitted, I'm out. **This makes it really taste amazing! I'm impressed with you, balsamic vinegar. ***Yes, we added this, and it was delicious. ****We used thin, wheat spaghetti. *****We used Romano, because it's what we had on hand.
******I sprinkled it with smaller pieces of the fresh basil.

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