IM BACK!! I have not posted for 2 months! And it has been very frustrating! Over the last two months I've had a lot of changes in my life. I lost my job as my employer developed terminal cancer and closed down the practice. When I finished up there in late October I took two weeks off and went to Queensland to visit my brother and his wife who are expecting their first baby in April. Then I started a new job which has much much longer hours than my previous job! And on top of that Andy started a new job as a truck driver, travelling all over Australia - so I'm home alone a lot more - thus no one to cook for! :-( But I'm on Xmas holidays now, and so is Andy - so I finally finally was able to cook last night. And so this was the choice. Andy requested pasta, and I'd had my eye on this Jamie Oliver recipe for some time...
It was really really simple. I feared it would be a bit bland once I actually started putting the ingredients together. But it was delicious. Really filling, yet very light. Andy described it as refreshing. Didn't take long. Incredibly simple. And really yum served with hot crusty garlic bread..
450 gram piece of ricotta cheese
extra virgin olive oilsea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 flat teaspoon of dried oregano
1 flat teaspoon of chilli flakes
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
a knob of butter
2 x 400g tins of good quality plum tomatoes
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
a handful of fresh basil leaves, torn
2 handfuls of freshly grated parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celcius. Rub the ricotta all over with the olive oil, salt, pepper, chilli and oregano. Place on a baking tray and cook in the oven for 20 minutes until golden and firm. In a pan, slowly fry the onion and garlic in the butter and a good drizzle of olive oil. Cook for four minutes until sweet and softened. Add the tomatoes, simmer gently for about 15 minutes, then break the tomatoes up with a spoon. Add the balsamic vinegar and the sugar and stir until you have a fine tomato sauce.
Meanwhie, bring a large pan of salted water to teh boil and cook teh fetuccini according to the packet instructions. When cooked, drain and reserve some of the cooking water. Toss the pasta with teh tomato sauce and add a little of the reserved water to loosen if necessary. Correct the seasoning carefully to taste, and then, working quickly, add most of the basil and parmesan cheese. Place into a warmed bowl, rip over some extra basil and grate over a little extra parmesan. Either crumble the baked ricotta over the pasta, or serve it at the table with a spoon in it and let everyone crumble some over their plates...