Heirloom tomato pasta bake with black olives and ricotta recipe


This main is all about showcas ing the natural tastes of simple, fresh, and beautiful ingredients. The hearty, delicious baked pasta, or pasta al forno, puts the texture and aroma of vine ripened tomatoes front and centre. The nutty flavours of garlic and black pepper browned in olive oil and the sweet fragrance of gently fried basil comple ment the tomato’s freshness perfectly. This easy and mouth watering dish is a great make ahead meal you can share with friends and family.

  • Yield: 4 Servings


Heirloom Tomato Pasta Bake with Black Olives and Ricotta
  • 1 lb bag rigatoni pasta
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 6 basil leaves
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups chopped yellow or orange tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried oregano salt
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan
  • ¼ cup black olives, coarsely chopped
  • 4–5 heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 cup fresh ricotta
  • good-quality extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 6–8 fresh basil leaves, torn
Panzanella Salad with Buffalo Mozzarella
  • ½ loaf ciabatta bread (or any rustic loaf), cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1½ cups olive oil
  • ½ pint yellow grape or cherry tomatoes
  • ½ pint red grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 5 basil leaves, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 orange zest pepper
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 ball buffalo mozzarella, torn into pieces
  • sea salt and black pepper
How to Make It
    Heirloom Tomato Pasta Bake with Black Olives and Ricotta
  1. Cook rigatoni in a large pot of salted water according to package directions. Remove from water when slightly undercooked, as pasta will continue to cook when baked.
  2. In a large, deep saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until light golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Add basil and pepper and let basil fry lightly in oil, about 1 minute. Add yellow or orange tomatoes and allow to cook down, about 10 to 15 minutes, or until tomatoes start to break down. The oil and tomato juice should emulsify to make a sauce. Crush tomatoes slightly, add oregano, and season with salt. Remove from heat.
  3. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  4. Add drained pasta to tomato sauce, stirring to combine. Add Parmesan and half of the olives. Stir to combine. Transfer pasta mixture to a 9- × 13 inch casserole dish.
  5. Alternate heirloom tomato wedges and dollops of ricotta evenly on top of pasta. Sprinkle with remaining black olives. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until golden and crusty on top. Remove from oven and sprinkle with fresh basil.
  6. Panzanella Salad with Buffalo Mozzarella
  7. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  8. In a large bowl, toss bread with 2 Tbsp olive oil and salt and pepper. Spread onto a baking sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until bread is golden brown.
  9. In a medium saucepan, combine the 1½ cups of olive oil, half of the tomatoes, garlic, basil, and orange zest, and season with pepper. Set over low to medium heat and poach for 10 to 15 minutes, or until some skins start to break slightly. Remove from heat.
  10. In a small bowl, combine red onion, balsamic vinegar, and a pinch of salt. Set aside.
  11. To assemble, slice remaining fresh tomatoes in half. Divide cooked tomato mixture among 4 plates. Top with fresh tomatoes, red onion mixture, and buffalo mozzarella. Garnish with fresh basil leaves, reserved olive oil from poached tomato mixture, and sea salt and black pepper.

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