Monday, December 10, 2007

Spaghetti with basil, smoked ricotta and roast bell pepper

Spaghetti with basil, smoked ricotta and roast bell pepper

I’m always interested in new ways of cooking pasta.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love fresh tomato sauce (I only use homemade) but pasta gives you so many possibilities that it’s almost a sin not to try other sauces and ingredient combinations.

If you are in a hurry and have to put dinner together quickly, this is a really good recipe: you can take a shower while the peppers are roasting and boil the water/cook the pasta while they’re cooling down.

The original recipe calls for feta, but I decided to use some delicious smoked ricotta I had in the fridge. The sweet flavor of the peppers played wonderfully with the saltiness of the cheese.


This is my entry for the Weekend Herb Blogging, this time hosted by Astrid, from Paulchen's Food Blog.

Spaghetti with basil, smoked ricotta and roast bell peppers
adapted from Kitchen: The Best of the Best

4 red bell peppers
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
125g (4½ oz/1 bunch) basil
400g (14oz) spaghetti
150g (5½ oz) smoked ricotta (ricotta affumicata)

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF. Rub the peppers with a little oil, slice them in half lengthways and put them, skin-side up, on a baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the skin blackens and blisters. Put the peppers in a plastic bag or bowl covered with plastic wrap, allow them to cool, then remove the skin and seeds. Put the pepper flesh into a blender with the vinegar ad 10 basil leaves, season and blend. Add the strained liquid from the baking dish (if there’s any) and a little olive oil to make a sauce consistency. Put the sauce in a large saucepan over low heat to keep it warm.

Cook the spaghetti until it is al dente, then drain the pasta and add it to the warm pepper sauce. Crumble half the ricotta over the pasta and gently toss the ingredients together. Serve garnished with the remaining basil leaves and the rest of the ricotta crumbled on top.

Serves 4


Peter M said...

That's a nifty spaghetti dish and I've never tried nor heard of smoked ricotta.

It'll be added to my food hunt list.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Looks and sounds totally beautiful Patricia. Pasta simply can take all the twists we can dish out! Smoked ricotta in place of feta, sounds refreshing, like that a lot!

Manggy said...

I think I may need something that healthy and flavorful right now :) I've always wanted to roast a red pepper on a gas burner, though. The oven is too safe haha! :)

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Patricia - your pasta creations always make me hungry! This looks very colorful, and I like the interplay of smoked cheese and roasted peppers!

Graeme said...

Smoked Ricotta. I love it. Anything smoked next to Basil is great.

Wendy said...

Never heard of smoked ricotta. It sounds wonderful!

pam said...

Patricia, that looks fabulous. Though, I am sure I will never find smoked ricotta here.

test it comm said...

The roasted red pepper, basil and balsamic sauce sounds good. I will have to see if I can find some smoked ricotta.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I don't think I've ever had smoked ricotta, but I'm absolutely intrigued and will look for it at the wonderful Italian cheese store in Providence. Thanks for another yummy recipe!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Pete, thank you, my friend! I'm glad you like it.

Tanna, I bought the ricotta in the heat of the moment, so I needed to find something to use it in - good to know you liked my idea!

Mark, be careful! :)

T.W., you are far too kind, my dear friend. I'm glad it makes you hungry, that is a good sign!

Graeme, love smoked things too. :)

Wendy, it was the first time I tried it too, sweetie, and I loved it!

Pam, thank you! I thought I would never find it here either, it was a good surprise.

Kevin, if you don't, try the original recipe and use feta.

Lydia, I think it would be a good new ingredient for your beautiful and fabulous pantry.

Chibog in Chief said...

simple and yet lots of delectable flavors on this pasta recipe..just like you i love adding roasted bell pepper on my pasta..will surely try this recipe!!

ps.i discovered your blog thru dessie of maybahay, great site.;i'll visit this often

Cookie baker Lynn said...

That sounds heavenly. I've never heard of smoked ricotta before. I'll have to start searching. It's amazing all the new things I learn from you!

LizNoVeggieGirl said...

I agree - it IS practically a not to try other sauces, flavors, and ingredient combinations for pasta, since it's such a versatile dish!! your version look quite lovely!!

Bri said...

Yum! Sometimes the simplest dishes are the tastiest. I also haven't had smoked ricotta yet. Now I really want to try it. I can just imagine it's awesome with the roasted peppers and basil. Great suggestion!

Olivia said...

This looks so delicious! What a great way to spice up spaghetti. :)

One thing I've always had trouble with, though, is skinning baked peppers. Do you have any tips?

Karin W. said...

I don´t like smoked cheese on my sandwiches, but I am sure that smoked ricotta goes very well with pasta dishes.

Somewhere I have read about a similiar dish. "Bucatini alla Norma": Long pasta tubes in a tomato-, -olive oil, -basil and aubergine sauce with fresh ricotta and smoked ricotta cheese shavings.

However, ricotta is rarely available in my food store.

Kristen - Dine & Dish said...

Oh yum, Patricia! I am craving pasta tonight, but making pork chops instead. Wish I were at your house!

SteamyKitchen said...

i've never had smoked ricotta before - i don't think i've ever seen in stores either! will have to find it, b/c now i'm curious!

Africantapestry and Myfrenchkitchen said...

You're right...we can't play around enough with paste, seeing how much it lands on our tables. I love the combination of the smoked ricotta with the peppers here, never had it that way. It has to be tried!

Maggie said...

There's always something to learn from your foodblog Patricia. I've never heard of smoked ricotta before and will definitely look on the shelves next time I do a food shop.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Where do you get smoked ricotta? I've never seen it before? Sounds great.

Julie said...

That looks delicious Patricia, I could eat dishes like that every day.

Deborah said...

This sounds heavenly!

desie said...

i love the sweetness of roasted peppers with cheese. this sounds great.

Cynthia said...

I've never tried pasta with roasted bell pepper sauce. Thanks for the idea.

Cris said...

This sounds delicious Patricia! Love basil and smoked ricotta.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Dhanggit, thank you for the visit, I appreciate it!

Lynn, I'm crazy for cheese. :)
And I learn a lot from you, too, dear!!

VeggieGirl, thank you for stopping by! And I'm glad you like the recipe!

Bri, I want to use this ricotta in other dishes, too.:)

Olivia, once I waited for them to cool down, it was a breeze to remove the skin. Just place them in a plastic bag, close it tight and wait. I thought it was going to be hard, but it wasn't!

Karin, I had gone to several grocery shops before finding it. It is not easy to find here, either, my friend. Maybe in the future.
I like the aubergine sauce idea.

Kristen, you are welcome to have dinner here anytime you want, sweetie!

Jaden, I was curious too! :)

Hi, Ronell! I do hope you like it if you give it a go. And thank you for stopping by!

Margaret, I'm glad you feel this way, my dear friend. Thank you.

Susan, I had to commute to buy it, dear. :)
I found it in a special food store in São Paulo.

Julie, thank you!

Deb, tks!!

Hey, sweetie, it was a good combination of flavors.

Cynthia, it was my first time, too. :)

Cris, basil is wonderful in just about anything, don't you think?

ilingc said...

Sounds like a delightful dinner Patricia. I shall seek out some smoked ricotta and try it next time :)

City Muse said...

Ah, a recipe after my own heart. I love simple dishes like this. Thanks for sharing! I've bookmarked it to try later.

eatme_delicious said...

Ahh that looks so good! And it's almost lunch time. I wish I could reach into the computer and grab that food out.

Jade said...

This looks so delicious!

Kalyn Denny said...

Sounds very tasty. I also haven't heard of the smoked ricotta, but I'm sure it must taste wonderful!

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