For some people summer means burgers, steaks and everything grilled. And while I share those sentiments as well, my summer isn’t complete without several variations of this Five Ingredient Cherry Tomato & Ricotta Linguini.
This time of year it’s nearly impossible for me to leave the grocery store without a basket-full of cherry tomatoes. Usually I pick them up with intentions of throwing them in to salads or snacking on a few when a hunger emergency strikes, but a week later, I often find myself with a horde of the tiny red jewels on the verge of exiting their perfectly ripe, juicy prime.
Being a girl who doesn’t waste anything, my answer to the surplus almost always comes in the form of pasta. Sometimes, I halve them and toss them with lemony angel hair pasta. Other times, I’ll leave them whole and cook them until they burst before nestling the makeshift soft over veggie lasagna rolls. I’ll also roast them at the same time as a giant spaghetti squash and toss the two together for a healthier take on traditional pasta.
Today though, we’re simply cooking them in some olive oil and garlic, tossing them with silky strands of linguini pasta and a little bit of creamy ricotta cheese.
The reason I make so many variations is because it comes together in flash and the tomatoes themselves are packed with an endless amount of flavor, which to me, just screams summer. Also, it’s an easy way for me to get my pasta fix in a seasonal, healthy form, because I will never be one of those people who say goodbye to pasta once the last snow has fallen.
The process is really so simple, it barely requires a recipe. Halved cherry or grape tomatoes are sautéed in a tablespoon or so of olive until they start to soften and almost melt away. Once they’ve cooked for a good five minutes, I drop a half pound of linguini in some boiling, liberally salted pasta water.
While the pasta boils, the tomatoes finish cooking, and then the heat gets turned down a touch so the garlic can go in without burning. Once the garlic is soft, the pasta should be just under aldente and ready to add in, along with a half a cup or so of salty pasta water. Now, this is very important, as I just mentioned, the pasta needs to be UNDER aldente. Because it’s going to continue to cook in the sauce, the pasta strands will eventually reach their aldente status later.
The linguini, pasta water and tomato garlic mixture get tossed together, seasoned with some salt and by all accounts it’s ready to go. However, I had some homemade ricotta on hand, so to change things up a bit from my traditional method, just before serving, I tossed about ¾ cup in to transform the tomato-based pasta into something just a bit creamier and indulgent.
I final sprinkling of salt and pepper finishes this easy weeknight pasta off.
A few notes:
You can absolutely use store-bought ricotta, just make sure it’s good quality. I like to make my own, because I can make it low-fat without compromising flavor or texture.
Also, in our house, this recipe only fed two of us (plus Teddy), so if you have a family of four or more, I’d double the recipe.
For more ways to use your cherry tomatoes, check out these posts:
Five Ingredient Tomato Ricotta Linguini
This easy Cherry Tomato & Ricotta Linguini uses only five ingredients and comes together in under 30 minutes. It's the perfect summer pasta!
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3/4 lb cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 3 large garlic cloves, sliced
- 1/2 lb linguini
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup whole milk ricotta
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Season liberally with salt. It should taste like the sea.
While the water comes to a boil, heat a large saute pan to a medium heat. Add olive oil, once oil is hot, add tomatoes. Saute until tomatoes start to soften, after 5-7 minutes. After 2-3 minutes of cooking, drop the pasta in to the water, make sure to use tongs to separate the noodles.
Once tomatoes start to soften, add garlic and toss. Saute 2 minutes.
When the pasta is just under aldente, use tongs to transfer the pasta to the tomatoes and garlic. (We want the pasta to be underdone because it will finish cooking in the sauce). Be sure to reserve cooking liquid! Add 1/2 cup along with the noodles and salt. Use tongs to toss.
Add ricotta. Toss. If necessary, add another 1/4-1/2 cup of pasta water. (I used 1/2 cup) Season to taste with salt and pepper.