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Tomato, Basil, and Ricotta Capellini

August 8, 2011

When trying to find fulfillment in free time, I find that creating with your imagination followed by building with your hands to be satisfying. Me? I tend to sew in my free time. After looking at expensive crewel work pillows sold by Anthropologie for $150, my friend and I started making our own for $5. When I began to buy baby gifts, I realized I could make my own blankets for shower gifts for much less, but with much love. So, naturally when we started looking at magazines to decorate our house, we saw built-ins everywhere. Growing up with a father who built closets, molding, windows, and furniture, AAM naturally thought we could create our own.

This past two weeks, AAM launched into his ambitious built-in bookcase project. After several sketches, many measurements, and LOTS of math (emphasis for all my math teacher friends), he started constructing the frame.

Puzzle piecing the wood together, he and his father transformed a plain wall, into a wall with visual potential. The frame is up on the left side of the fireplace, and we can start to really see what we had imagined when we walked into our new house. As a thank you last week, after a long day of cutting wood at his parent’s house, I made AAM an updated variation of his favorite spaghetti.

I grew up eating capellini, a thinner version of the more common spaghetti. Capellini takes only 2 minutes to cook, so be sure you watch your pot and quickly drain to cook al dente. Overcooked capellini can take away from the nice texture of the pasta.

I used our basil. Because I ddin’t plant our veggies until July, the basil is still in the baby stages right now, so I only snipped a little bit. For tomatoes, we used my mother-in-law’s tomatoes, which were a wonderful mix and variety. I encourage you to mix colors and sizes, since that adds interest and flavor to your dish.

Sitting out on the sunporch, we really enjoyed this yummy dish, along with the side of Roasted Brussels Sprouts and a glass of white wine.

Tomato, Basil, and Ricotta Capellini

  • 3 cups of a variety of grape,cherry and smaller tomatoes
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp kosher salt, divided in half
  • 2 tsp ground pepper, divided in half
  • 2 tb olive oil, divided in half
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 3/4 lb of capellini
  • 1 cup of Ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup of shredded Pecorino Romano
  • 1/4 cup of shredded Basil

1. Pre-heat the oven to 400. Boil a pot of salted water

2. In a baking dish, mix together tomatoes, garlic, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, 1 tb of olive oil. Bake for 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, stir together the ricotta, Pecorino Romano, Basil, rest of the salt, pepper, and olive oil. Stir together thoroughly.

4. When the water comes to a boil, cook the capellini and peas for 2 minutes. When the pasta rises, or can stick to the wall if you throw it, drain. Remove the tomatoes from the oven.

5. Stir together the tomatoes, cheese mixture, and pasta well, serve hot.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Lia permalink
    August 10, 2011 2:37 pm

    When I read this recipe I immediately wanted to try it out, especially because I rarely use ricotta cheese and had some on hand. But had a few problems: I hate peas, I didn’t have fresh basil, and I only had parmesan cheese (and since I am on dissertation lockdown, I didn’t dare leave the house and lose my writing momentum–yeah, I’m weird like that!). So I roasted the tomatoes with some eggplant that I had with more than double the garlic and used dried basil (really not a good substitute for a fresh dish like this, but oh well!). I think I put too much ricotta, but it was yummy! I prefer stronger, sharper flavors so I may add more garlic or even play around with anchovies. Thanks! 🙂
    BTW I am envious that AAM can build things! I need more bookcases, so a trip to Ikea is in order as soon as I finish this chapter.

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