This is the second dish from the menu that I have come up with to celebrate the 150 years of the Unification of Italy. It is the main dish of the theme menu and, like the entree already published -“Tricolore salad”- it also has the colors of the Italian flag: white, red and green. This recipe is very simple as well. I thought of making “strascinati”, which is a type of handmade pasta typical from the south of Italy, with tomatoes, basil and salted ricotta cheese. I have posted a tutorial on “How to make strascinati at home” in the Techniques page of this site.
I am also sharing this post with my event 150 years of the Unification of Italy.
Ingredients for 4 persons:
1 big clove of garlic
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
600 gms tinned diced tomatoes
6-8 leaves of basil (plus more for decoration)
1 pinch of sea salt
400 gms strascinati
Italian Ricotta salata (salted ricotta) very finely grated to serve plus some slivers for decoration.
Put the clove of garlic and 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan.
Let the garlic fry on a slow fire for 1 minute, add the diced tomatoes, basil leaves, a pinch of salt and cover.
Let the sauce cook on a very low fire for about 15-20 minutes.
Grate the salted ricotta and cut some slivers of it. Keep them aside.
In the meantime, cook the strascinati following the steps on “How to cook pasta al dente”. Only in this case you will not have a pre set cooking time. This will vary on the thickness of your strascinati (it should take approximately 5 minutes). So, the best solution is to taste it! Remember, it does have to remain firm.
When the pasta is cooked, drain it, put it in the frying pan with the tomato sauce and put the fire on a medium flame.
Add 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and stir well making sure the pasta is well coated in the sauce. Serve it hot and decorate it with slivers of Ricotta salata and some basil leaves. Sprinkle some grated salted ricotta on the top and enjoy it.