3 quarts water
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 garlic cloves, thickly sliced
1 (28 ounce) can peeled Italian tomatoes, drained, chopped and juices reserved separately
4 tablespoons chopped resh basil or 4 teaspoons dried
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound pasta-penne rigate, tortiglioni, ziti or rigatoni
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/2 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
Serves 4 to 6
Bring the water to a boil in a large pot. Heat the olive oil, red pepper flakes and garlic in a large saute pan set on medium-high heat, until ti begins to sizzle and the garlic begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the drained tomatoes, basil and salt and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the reserved tomato juices and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes.
While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta in the boiling water until just tender. Drain the pasta well and return it to the pot. Pour the sauce over the pasta and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the ricotta cheese and Romano cheese, mixing well.
Serve the pasta sprinkled with the black pepper and chopped parsley.
For an interesting variation that adds a nice zip, add 4 tablespoons of chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes to the pan when you add the chopped tomatoes.
Wine Suggestion - Merlot