This weekend I caught a few cooking shows, namely Lidia’s Italy and Ciao Italia. I realized I cook much like Lidia with simple dishes packed with flavor and few ingredients. I don’t like to make dishes with ingredients that are hard to find or super expensive. I haven’t had a rigatoni dish in a long time either so this one really appealed to me. I did consult Lidia’s online site for the recipe but I pretty much adapted this for our budget and tastes.
Rigatoni with Mushrooms and Ricotta cheese
4 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
a few Tbsp. olive oil
a few Tbsp. fresh Italian parsley, chopped
8 ounces Cremini mushrooms (baby Portobello), chooped
8 ounces rigatoni
6 ounces ricotta cheese
Put a large pot of water on to boil. In the meantime begin the sauce by heating olive oil on medium heat in a skillet large enough to hold the pasta and sauce. When the oil is hot add the garlic. Cook and stir just a few minutes, then add the rosemary. After another minute add in the mushrooms. Once they start to sizzle a little add a ladle of pasta water and lower the heat so the mushrooms simmer. Add half the parsley during this time. The rigatoni should be cooking by now. When the rigatoni is al dente’, use a spider or slotted spoon and add to the sauce. The pasta will continue cooking with the sauce. Add the ricotta cheese in small spoonfuls to the sauce and stir gently. Cook on low until all is warmed and pasta is to your liking. Add the remaining parsley as a garnish and salt and pepper to taste.
We felt the dish needed a salty meat so we would make this with diced pancetta next time. This dish came together super fast and simple. One other note is to bring the ricotta cheese to room temperature before beginning will make the last step easier and the pasta will not be overcooked. No one likes mushy pasta.