Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes and Ricotta Salata or Manouri

From the story The Happy Forever Community Garden Bears Fruit
by Simona Carini


Photo by Carole Topalian

Author’s own recipe, which she could never make with the garden’s Sungold tomatoes, because her husband ate them as soon as she brought home a freshly picked batch. I originally used ricotta salata, but then I discovered manouri, a soft Greek cheese made from full-fat sheep’s milk, and found that it works well in this recipe.

1 pound of short pasta (penne, gemelli, etc.)
⅓ pound ricotta salata or manouri (Greek cheese)
1 dry pint cherry tomatoes, halved
Salt, to taste
A few leaves of fresh basil, shredded

Bring a pot of water to rolling boil and toss the pasta into it. Place the ricotta or manouri in a serving bowl and use a fork to break it into small pieces. Add 1–2 tablespoons of hot water from the pot and work it into the cheese. Add the halved tomatoes to the bowl and salt to taste. Cook the pasta until it is firm to the bite (al dente), drain thoroughly and pour into the serving bowl. Sprinkle the basil over the pasta. Toss well: the heat of the pasta will soften the tomatoes, which will release their juice.

Serve immediately. Serves 6