Rigatoni with sun-dried tomato, Ricotta and Lemon
Served with balsamic roasted aubergine
A super quick and summery dish, perfect for every day of the week. Take the sun-dried tomato, Ricotta and Lemon sauce as a basis, but feel free to add anything that you have in mind. I think some golden toasted breadcrumbs or pine nuts would work really well. Aubergine and balsamic vinegar are really good friends, but some nice red peppers -in summer- , or squash -in autumn- would be fantastic too!
500 gr Rigatoni
1 jar sun-dried tomatoes (295 gr)
15 to 20 cherry tomatoes
250 gr Ricotta cheese
4 cloves of garlic
1 whole chili
The zest of two lemons
2 aubergines or other veg
4 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons of agave syrup (or sugar)
2 tablespoons of mixed Italian herbs (or a blend of dried thyme, oregano, sage, marjoram, rosemary, etc)
Salt, pepper and olive oil
Preheat the oven to 220 ‘C and bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta. First you want to get your aubergines roasting. Slice them into thin pieces so that they roast quicker. On a baking tray, marinate the aubergine in olive oil, salt, pepper, the balsamic vinegar, agave syrup and 1 tablespoon of the mixed Italian herbs. Place in the oven and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden.
Boil the Rigatoni pasta al dente and save some of the pasta water. Finely slice the garlic, chili, and onion and gently start frying in a pan with some olive oil. Also add 1 tablespoon of mixed Italian herbs.
In a food processor, blitz up the sun-dried tomatoes with some of the oil from the jar and half of the fresh cherry tomatoes. Add the mixture to the pan and fry for a minute or two. Then add the ricotta and around 120 ml (4 espresso cups) of pasta water. Mix everything up and optionally add more pasta water to get the right consistency. Now add the rest of the cherry tomatoes and the zest of one lemon. Simmer for another minute and then mix in your pasta. Mix everything well and let it come to a decent heat. Optionally you could add more water until everything is nice and creamy. Taste and season with salt and a fair amount of pepper to give it a little kick.
Time to serve up! Finish the Rigatoni with the roasted aubergine and finally grate over the zest of the other lemon. Lovely to serve with a fresh salad! Buon Appetito.