This reminded me a little of baked ziti, but no mozzarella. The ricotta made the sauce very creamy. The recipe said fresh ricotta, which I don't know how to make. Yet. I have to look into it, but I used a good store bought ricotta cheese and the dish was delicious. Next time I'd add a little more crushed red pepper. The fresh basil was perfect. and I used plenty of Pecorino. I also used a jarred sauce this time. But would definitely make the tomato sauce next time, once the good tomatoes are in season again!
The recipe called for Annelli, but I ran out, it's a fun shaped pasta. Rings! Like pasta Cheerio's! You can see them here. Instead this time I used a different mini pasta, a bag of pennette. Definitely making this again!
Pasta Timballo with Ricotta
Source: The Heart of an Artichoke and Other Kitchen Journeys by David Tanis
You can find the full recipe here!
adapted by There's Always Thyme to Cook
1 pound anelli pasta (a dried ring-shaped pasta) - I used pennette, small penne shaped pasta
salt and pepper
red pepper flakes
4 cups tomato sauce (recipe follows) - I used a good jarred sauce
1 pound fresh ricotta, at room temperature
a handful of basil leaves, roughly chopped
Bring a big pot of salted water to a boil. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Boil the pasta according to directions on package; it should be firmly al dente. Drain the pasta and put it in a large bowl. Drizzle with a little fruity olive oil, and season to taste with salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes.
Meanwhile, heat the tomato sauce. Have a large, deep ovenproof dish ready.
Spoon about half the sauce into the dish and stir half of the ricotta into the sauce, leaving it somewhat lumpy. Spoon the pasta on top of the sauce, and pour the rest of the sauce on top of the pasta. Top with dollops of the remaining ricotta and sprinkle with grated pecorino. Put the dish in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, to heat through completely.
Sprinkle with the basil, and serve more pecorino on the side.