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Rigatoni With Fiery Roast Tomatoes And Ricotta

Rigatoni al fuoco 

This pasta is inspired by the volcanic island of Stromboli in the Aeolian Islands and its fiery unpredictable nature. Stromboli is the most active volcano in Europe and gently bubbles away most evenings. You can hike up to the crater to watch the lava flow, and on a clear day see its gentle eruptions from Salina. I love this dish as it delivers on flavor and deliciousness with minimal effort. All that’s required is putting a dish of tomatoes in the oven, followed by the ricotta, cooking the pasta, and uniting the two in the baking dish. I like to think of it as an ode to Stromboli through spice and domed ricotta.  – Amber Guinness

PREPARATION: 10 minutes 
COOKING: 30 minutes 


  • 600 g (1 lb 5 oz) cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters 
  • 1 small red chili, deseeded and finely chopped 
  • ¼ teaspoon chili flakes
  • 75 ml (2 ½ fl oz) olive oil
  • sea salt
  • 250 g (9 oz) ricotta, drained 
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) rigatoni 
  • 75 g (2 ¾ oz) parmesan, finely grated 
  • handful of basil leaves 

Preheat the oven to 400°F (conventional oven) or 350°F (convection/fan-forced oven).

Put the cherry tomatoes in a large baking dish (I use one attractive enough to serve from). Add the chopped chili, chili flakes, half the olive oil, and a couple of generous pinches of salt and toss to combine. Roast for 15 minutes. 

Remove the tomatoes from the oven—by now they should have started to steam and collapse. Use a spoon to make a space in the center and nestle the ricotta into the mixture, wide base downwards so that it looks like a little volcano. Spoon some of the cooking juices over the ricotta, along with another drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Return to the oven and roast for another 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the rigatoni, give it a good stir so that it doesn’t stick together, and cook until al dente (about 12-13 minutes, but check the package instructions). Drain, reserving half a mugful of the pasta water in case it’s needed.

Remove the tomatoes and ricotta from the oven. Add the drained rigatoni, parmesan, basil and remaining olive oil and gently toss to combine, with a splash of pasta water if needed. Take the dish to the table and serve immediately.

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