Spinach-Ricotta Cavatelli with Tomato Sauce
- SERVINGS: 8
You can substitute 1 3/4 pounds of store-bought fresh or frozen cavatelli or potato gnocchi for the homemade cavatelli.
Plus: Pasta Recipes and Tips
- 1 1/4 cups low-fat ricotta cheese (12 ounces)
- 1/4 cup thawed frozen spinach, squeezed dry and chopped
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup semolina
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 pounds plum tomatoes, cored and quartered
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 cup finely chopped basil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons fresly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup Le Bec-Fin Chicken Stock or canned low-sodium broth
- Put the ricotta, spinach, egg yolk and olive oil in a food processor and process to a paste. Add the flour, semolina, salt and white pepper and process until the mixture comes together to form a ball. Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead briefly. Wrap the dough in plastic and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Cover the sun-dried tomatoes with hot water and let soak until plumped, about 25 minutes. Drain well and coarsely chop, then transfer to a mini-processor and puree.
- Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the fresh tomatoes and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the tomatoes release their juices, about 3 minutes. Add the basil and Chicken Stock, cover and simmer over low heat until the tomatoes are very soft, about 5 minutes. Strain the sauce, pressing on the tomatoes to extract as much sauce as possible. Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes and season with salt and black pepper.
- Cut the cavatelli dough into 10 equal pieces. On a lightly floured work surface, using both hands, roll out each piece of dough into a 1/2-inch-thick rope. With a fork, cut the rope into 1/2-inch pieces. Press the side of the fork lengthwise into the center of each piece. Set the cavatelli on a lightly floured baking sheet.
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the cavatelli in batches, stirring, until they rise to the surface, about 4 minutes. Drain the cavatelli and divide them among 8 shallow bowls. Pour 1/2 cup of the hot tomato sauce over each portion and sprinkle each with 1 teaspoon of the Parmesan cheese.