Rigatoni with Marinara Sauce and Ricotta

We make John’s Sauce on the regular, but every now and then I like to mix it up and try different versions of a marinara sauce.

There are no onions or black pepper in this recipe, and the garlic cloves are removed after it toasts in the olive oil.

Once the sauce was ready, I topped the pasta (I use rigatoni here) with a nice spoonful of fresh ricotta (you have to use fresh!) and shavings of Pecorino Romano. The Pecorino Romano is a bit saltier and tangier than Parmigiano Reggiano and the ricotta adds a nice creaminess to the pasta. Delicious!

If you happen to have any leftover sauce, you can store in the refrigerator for up to a week.


Rigatoni with Marinara Sauce and Ricotta
Serves: 6-8
  • One 28 ounce can of whole plum tomatoes in juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, slightly crushed
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Salt
  • 4-5 basil leaves, torn into pieces
  • 1 pound rigatoni
  • Fresh ricotta
  • Freshly grated Pecorino Romano
  1. Pour tomatoes in a large bowl and crush into pieces with your hands, removing the hard end where the stem originally was
  2. Heat oil in a heavy pan or pot over medium heat
  3. Add garlic and cook in oil until cloves are golden, about 5 minutes. Discard
  4. Add red pepper and cook for another minute
  5. Add tomatoes and a large pinch of salt, stir to combine and cook for another 20-25 minutes until sauce has thickened
  6. Taste the sauce to see if you need any more salt
  7. Once complete, remove from heat, add basil and mix to combine
  8. Meanwhile, cook pasta until al dente in a large pot of salted boiling water, then drain
  9. Add pasta to sauce, mix to combine
  10. Serve immediately and top each plate with a spoonful of fresh ricotta and shavings of Pecorino Romano


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