Pasta and ricotta...

....there I was sitting on the kitchen floor playing pick-up sticks with a box of whole wheat spaghetti that blended in perfectly with my hardwood floors...(sorry no photo!)
so now what was I going to do.. the whole wheat pasta idea was definitely out...I was not about to sit there and dust off each "spaghetto"* individually...

*spaghetto is the diminuitive of spago which in English would be string.... so spaghetti = lots of skinny strings
add that to your dictionary of useless trivia!

so.. back to the pasta drawer.. I have it! Dischi Volanti (that would be flying saucers) with ricotta!

Pasta and ricotta was one of my father-in-law Antonio's favorites. Quick, easy, nutritious, naturally low in dairy fat (if you use real ricotta - and not the "creamed version" that has lots of added dairy fat) and delicious!
Once I had tasted it, it quickly became part of my 10 minute pasta recipe repertoire!

So here goes...
1 small onion (yellow or white strictly for aesthetics! the red onion turns kind of grayish when cooked and is not pretty with the ricotta, believe me I have tried it!)

Extra virgin Olive oil

Ricotta - I used about 1 1/4 cups for 3 servings
basil or if you are lucky enough to have some, fresh mint!
salt and pepper to taste

about 300 grams of a short round pasta (shells, wagon wheels, flying saucers if you can find them! mine are by Garofoli, the children's collection !!!!)

First... by now you should know! Put your pot of water on to boil!
Now.. coarsely chop the onion, sauté it in a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a large non-stick or aluminium fry pan. It should be translucent and just starting to brown. You don't want it too browned or your condiment will have a bitter onion taste!

At this point your water is probably boiling, so salt it and put your pasta in to cook.
Next, add the ricotta to the onions. I put a couple of basil leaves in, but as I said before, fresh mint also gives it a nice touch - especially if you make this in the summer!

I like to use coarsely ground black pepper, so at this point add your pepper - freshly ground if you have a pepper grinder! By the way.. you can see my pasta cooking in the background? Being fast in the kitchen is all a question of orchestration!

 When your pasta is cooked the way you like it.. drain it, leaving a bit more water than you usually do!

Add the pasta to the ricotta and onion mix.

Toss well to coat all of the pasta with the ricotta mixture and I added a bit more pepper, that's up to you!

 And that's it!
Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, or if you like a more piquant flavor, freshly grated Pecorino or Pecorino Romano cheese...


as Julia would have said, had she spoken Italian:



  1. Love Pasta & ricotta,use shells,have to add the onion,used to make it without onion for the kids instead of just pastina & butter when they when little. Trying to be "a follower " will try again,picture problem . Will try again, enjoying blog, like visiting with you again, ciao & baci !

  2. it's not like having you up the street!! what fun times we had! but it's a good substitute!!
    you should have seen me picking up the spaghetti from the floor....... why me??? ;))