Thursday, August 10, 2006

Pasta with Onions and Ricotta Salata

Back when we lived in our old apartment, I bought a hunk of cheese at the supermarket on a whim. I knew nothing about it, except it had a cool name. Ricotta salata. I love ricotta cheese, so I thought "what the heck." Turns out ricotta salata is related to ricotta - it's made from the same sheep's milk, but it's pressed to get out all the moisture and then dried, leaving it hard and crumbly.

I ended up using it in a pasta dish with carmelized onions. It was a pretty basic recipe: thinly slice some onion and carmelize it in a pan with olive oil. Cook a pound of spaghetti, crumble the ricotta salata, mix everything together and eat. The first taste was sublime. The cheese was salty, the onions creamy and the pasta was a vehicle to transport both into my mouth.

I only bought the cheese and made the dish once. For some reason it fell off my radar. Then the other day while we were at the supermarket I was looking at the cheese case and saw the ricotta salata. I remembered the dish and, on a whim, bought a good-sized chunk. While dinner tonight was good, it wasn't as sublime as the last time. For starters, I only used one onion, which just wasn't enough. There was too much pasta and not enough of the good stuff (i.e. the sweet onions and the salty cheese). I'll know for next time.

I also bought Romaine hearts this week, so I chopped up half of a heart, added some diced red onion, shredded carrot, diced green bell pepper and a tomato. Drizzled with balsamic vinegar and oil, it was the perfect counterpart to the pasta.
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  1. Steve is one lucky sob. Of course if my wife cooked like you do, I'd weigh 500 lbs.

  2. That's why I try to pair the fattening dishes with salads and other healthy sides. But I can't help it....I'm a full-fat gal. :)

  3. Damn, I am drooling over that chop.

    And you have me completely thinking *I* could/should/will start menu planning and making at least somewhat quasi home cooked meals. I told Ams "you could potentally come home from work to actual food". She would of course have you to thank.

    First up, tacos! Bird has been begging me to make them and I'm all like "can't we just go to Taco Bell?"

    Maybe I will even post a picture.

    Love, the anti cook.

  4. You know, I would totally help you plan meals. I could even give you recipes. I've got a million of 'em. Just say the word.

    Cooking can be fun! And it's even more fun when you get to annoy your family by plating the food and then taking pictures of it from multiple angles before they're allowed to eat.

  5. Hehehehehehehehehehehe!!!!

    I think I will make THEM take the pictures, while I strike a Vanna White type pose around my plate.

    I waaaaaant to cook sooooo bad, it's just soooo much work! I'm going to try though, and I insist on a weekly menu. When Bird goes back to school I go back to working 6-2:30 and I want to start then. As it is now we commute together as Bird is at my mom's and we go in later and aren't home until 7pm. That is no time to start futzing in the kitchen.

    Do you do menus? I don't want to put you out but I seriously would love the help. It has to be simple S, seriously! Can you send me some ideas/a weekly menu w/ recipes/anything?

    My family will love you long time!

    (P.S. Mmmm, Quiznos)


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