Penne Ricotta, Saffron and Cherry tomatoes confit, the creamiest of pasta without the use of any cream, just ricotta blended with saffron and pasta cooking water. With some delightful cherry tomatoes confit on top, you'll have your taste buds dancing!
I use ricotta a lot, I've just noticed that. Maybe you've noticed it, too. In sweet or savory dishes it is an ingredient I'm not shy to use. It is so embedded in my culture, in my memories, it is so versatile and gives so much flavor and texture to most of my dishes, that I cannot help it.
You might have also noticed that when I am not baking, I am cooking pasta. That's right, pasta is -mostly- my domain. I love it, I've been making it forever, I know how to treat it and give it justice. Loreto is the savory cook, with his amazing fusion creations and I cannot but take a step back. But when it's pasta time or sharing traditional Italian dishes, I get fueled by my passion, my Italian pride, I put my apron on, and savory dishes here I come.
Penne Ricotta, Saffron and Cherry tomatoes confit, and how we came up with the recipe.
These kind of pasta recipes are in our chords, so simple yet so flavorful. We already had a recipe, here, made with tagliatelle, ricotta and cherry tomatoes, but the addition of the saffron was something we had not thought about. We were in Rome, having lunch with my friend Paola in the area of Via Veneto, where she works and I worked, and the café we were in, had among the dishes of the day a platter of beautiful, creamy, penne with ricotta, saffron and cherry tomatoes confit. Right away we mentally bookmarked the recipe to make it when we were back home. And here we are to share it with you.
If you're not familiar with cherry tomatoes (pomodorini) confit, I invite you to try making them as soon as you can. Once you've tasted them, you'll be hooked. Easy to make: halved, dressed with a generous amount of e.v.o. oil, salt, pepper, a pinch of sugar and herbs, they bake in the oven, at low temperature, till they are wrinkled, juicy, sweet, candied morsels. They are the perfect topping for pasta, or bruschetta. In this dish, blended with the ricotta saffron sauce, it makes every forkful a delightful experience.
Penne Ricotta, Saffron and Cherry tomatoes confit, is also a pasta dish that will show you that you don't need to drench your pasta in heavy cream to make it creamy. When you melt the saffron in pasta cooking water, then blend it with the ricotta, the result is a luscious, velvety, cream sauce that will coat your pasta beautifully. In half the amount of calories. My only suggestion, as with all creamy sauces, is to eat pasta hot and right away. At the end of the shooting session, my pasta was looking a bit dry, that's where the saved pasta water comes in handy. Add it and stir, and the pasta will become creamy again.
The flavors of this pasta, amazing. This Penne Ricotta, Saffron, and Cherry Tomato confit is the epitome of class and luxuriousness. The penne beautifully coated with the blend of creamy ricotta and pasta water, and still maintaining that toothiness that we love. The saffron giving color to this dish along with that unmistakable posh flavor. Then the cherry tomatoes confit with their juices caramelized to a sweetness and acidity, then the mix of herbs, add another depth of taste and texture to an already decadent ensemble.
Wow, December 1st already, we have to pull up our bootstraps and get cracking on some festive Christmas recipes. Stay tuned, we have some gems for you.
Song of the day: "Don't wanna know", Maroon 5.Print
- 1 and ½ cups cherry tomatoes
- 250 g ricotta
- 1 package saffron powder
- 340 g pasta
- 1 Tbsp pasta water (plus more for tossing)
- e.v.o. oil
- salt and pepper
- pinch of sugar
- basil, fresh or dried (for topping)
- 250 g (your choice of pasta), cooked according to instructions on the package
- Wash, halve the cherry tomatoes and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Dress them with salt, pepper, herbs, a pinch of sugar, and a generous dose of e.v.o. oil.
- Bake them in the oven, at 300° F, for about an hour, or until they are wrinkled and reduced half in size. Set aside.
- Bring a pot of salted water on boil, then add the pasta and stir.
- While the pasta is cooking, melt the saffron powder in 1 tablespoon of pasta water. Add to the ricotta and stir until creamy and well incorporated.
- At the recommended pasta cooking time, drain the pasta but save some of the pasta water.
- Add the pasta to the ricotta saffron mixture, stir and eventually add more pasta water till desired creaminess.
- Place cherry tomatoes confit on top. Sprinkle with fresh or dried basil.
- Serve hot.
Not all pasta dishes in the Italian tradition require the final addition of Parmigiano on top. This is one of them. You can add it, of course.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Category: Pasta, Vegetarian
- Cuisine: Italian
- Serving Size: 4 servings
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I love baking and kneading dough because it takes me to a happy place in my soul.