A while ago Barilla Australia contacted me and kindly sent me some of the products to try on – including a bottle of Barilla Ricotta sauce. This sauce essentially is a tomato based sauce laced with Ricotta cheese in it. Barilla has also included a couple of recipes book and not knowing much about Ricotta and tomatoes combination I attempted to recreate Barilla’s Orecchiette Pugliesi recipe.
The recipe only calls for asparagus, english spinach, sultanas, salted ricotta and that’s about it. How easy is that? I made this on one of the night when I was on vegetarian diet (something I observe once a month). Though the Ricotta sauce was not labelled explicitly with “Vegetarian”, I had a look at the list of the ingredients and pretty sure it would qualify to be one. This sauce is also Gluten Free – though serving it with the Orecchiette pasta that I am currently using is not Gluten free, you can feel free to substitute with gluten-free pasta range offered by Barilla.
The cheese in the sauce contrasts the rich sourish tomato sauce, and to me it will also go really well if it’s serve as a side, alongside a protein i.e. roast chicken. I love how the use of sultanas/raisins adds the extra sweetness to each bite.
- 350g Barilla Orecchiette
- 1 jar Barilla Ricotta Sauce
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 2 bunches asparagus, chopped and tips kept separate
- 1 bunch of English spinach, roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup sultanas/raisins
- 60g salted Ricotta, grated
- Extra Virgin Olive oil
- Rock salt, for pasta water
- Sea alt and pepper, to taste
- In a large saucepan, bring plenty of water to the boil. When the water is boiling, add rock salt (7 gram to a liter of water).
- Drop the orecchiette into the water and stir. Cook according to the instructions on the pack.
- In a large fry pan, heat a little olive oil. When hot, cook the onion until golden, then add asparagus (not the tips) and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add spinach and sultanas/raisins and cook for 2 minutes, then add Barilla Ricotta sauce and bring to simmer.
- A few minutes before draining the pasta, add the asparagus tips to the water.
- Drain the pasta 1 minute before the suggested time and toss into the sauce, with 1/2 cup of cooking water to allow pasta to finish cooking in the pan. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper accordingly.
- Serve with grated salted Ricotta and a drizzle of olive oil.
- If asparagus is not in season, you may replace it with green beans or broad beans.