Brilliantly simple, this big-flavour pasta dish can be prepped in minutes, with incredible flavour and texture built up from its time in the oven. Kissed with herbs, oil and vinegar, this baked ricotta is a thing of real beauty.
- 1 bunch of fresh oregano , (30g)
- 3 cloves of garlic
- olive oil
- red wine vinegar
- 400 g mixed-colour cherry tomatoes
- 1 red pepper
- 1 yellow pepper
- 1 onion
- 2 fresh red chillies
- 1 tablespoon baby capers
- 250 g quality ricotta cheese
- 450 g rigatoni pasta
- 30 g Parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Pick most of the oregano leaves, then pound to a paste in a pestle and mortar with a pinch of sea salt. Peel and bash in the garlic, muddle in 3 tablespoons of oil and 1 tablespoon of vinegar, then season with black pepper.
- Halve the cherry tomatoes, deseed and roughly chop the peppers, peel and roughly chop the onion, slice the chillies in half lengthways, and add it all to a large roasting tray along with the capers. Pour over most of the flavoured oil and toss together.
- Make a little well in the centre of the tray, pop in the ricotta and rub all over with the remaining flavoured oil. Add a splash of water to the tray, place in the oven and roast for 50 minutes, or until the veggies are soft and just starting to caramalise.
- With 10 minutes to go, cook the pasta in a pan of boiling salted water according to the packet instructions, then drain, reserving a mug of the starchy pasta water, and steam dry.
- Carefully lift the ricotta onto a board. Tip the drained pasta and a little of the pasta water into the tray and gently shake to loosen all the sticky goodness from the bottom. Toss together, then tip into a serving dish and break the beautiful ricotta over the top. Pick over the remaining oregano leaves and grate over the Parmesan, then serve.