Would you be surprised if I told you that the whole idea of this pasta was inspired by a piece of ricotta salata (salted ricotta cheese) that I had in the fridge?
And it turned out SO-oh-o good that I encored it 4 times during the same week.
Before you mentally disconnect thinking of ricotta salata as an impossible cheese to get, I have a couple of great alternatives for you (in the recipe notes below).
Imagine, sweetness of pan roasted tomatoes paired with slightly bitter-ish,creamy flavor of black olives. All that is infused with a subtle garlic aroma and topped with delicious briny ricotta salata cheese!
I used short penne pasta:
- Deep cavities of this short pasta pair beautifully with almost any sauce.
- It’s been a while since I used it and I kinda missed it.
And you? With this roasted cherry tomato sauce you can use any, ANY pasta shape that you like.
Even spaghetti or capellini.
Extra juices from roasted cherry tomatoes will turn into a beautiful rosè sauce and will coat to perfection any type of pasta.
OK, enough chatting.
Try and taste it for your self 😊
Taste buds never lie!
Penne Pasta with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes & Black Olives
- 12 oz penne pasta or other pasta shape you like
- 1 lb cherry tomatoes
- 3-4 garlic cloves
- 1 cup Mediterranean black olives or other brine-cured black olives
- 8 oz ricotta salata (salted ricotta cheese)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Cut cherry tomatoes in half or use whole if you prefer. Halved take less time to cook though.
- In a large skillet pan a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, garlic cloves crushed with a flat knife, cherry tomatoes and olives.
- Cook on medium heat until tomatoes become lightly browned and soft.
- Press them lightly with a wooden spoon to release the juice. Be careful of the spatters.
- Remove garlic cloves and reduce the heat to low.
- Simmer for a few minutes white pasta is cooking.
- Cook pasta in hot boiling water until ‘al dente’. Check time indicated in the package minus 1-2 minutes.
- Reserve some cooking liquid.
- Add drained pasta in a pan with roasted tomato sauce.
- Add some more extra virgin olive oil if need and cooking liquid if it feels too dry.
- Toss in a pan for a minute or two.
- Serve immediately generously topped with grated ricotta salata – salted ricotta cheese (see notes).
- Use the closest substitute for Ricotta Salata which is a mix of quality Pecorino and crumbled Feta Cheese.
- Make Ricotta Salata at home. Honestly I haven’t tried any of the recipes below, just because I had no need living in Italy 🙂
- “Cheater’s” Ricotta Salata – by The Verdigris
- Ricotta Salata with Jerrilynn – by Cultures For Health