Ricotta pasta: lasagna without the lasagna ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

08 September 2008

Ricotta pasta: lasagna without the lasagna

Just looking at this picture is making me so hungry.

Ok, so I like lasagna a LOT. It would probably fall into my top ten or fifteen of all potential dinners, ever. The problem is that lasagna noodles are more expensive than any other pasta. In my experience it's generally double the price for the same pound of pasta. Uh, no!

To combat this, I have devised a scheme.

Ricotta pasta

olive oil
tomato puree/sauce/etc
oregano, basil, cayenne or paprika
salt and pepper
fresh parsley

We're essentially going to make decent marinara, mix it with ricotta, and use it to sauce any pasta you please. You can add some steamed spinach if you want the illusion of spinach lasagna. You can add a splash of vodka if you want the illusion of vodka cream sauce. POSSIBILITIES ABOUND.

Put water on to boil for the pasta; warm some olive oil for the sauce.

Peel and chop as much garlic as you like. Throw it into the olive oil, spice it with oregano, basil, and hot pepper of some type, and let it soften and get delicious. When the garlic is soft, add whatever form of tomatoes are available to you. I think I had crushed tomatoes in puree this time. If your business is too thick, add some water to thin it as well. Salt and pepper, bring the business to a simmer, and cook until things reach your desired consistency.

While the sauce is simmering, boil and drain your pasta. I used penne; any shape you have on hand should work fine. The pasta just needs to be robust enough to hold some weight.

Also, stem and tear/chop as much parsley as you want. I like a lot of parsley; you might like a little. Whichever is fine.

When the pasta is done and the sauce has simmered at least five minutes, take the sauce pan off the heat. Add several spoonfuls of ricotta and stir. The cheese and tomatoes will meld together into a salmon-colored creamy sauce. Add the pasta, stir again, and serve with parsley.

Eat it. Feel better.

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