There is absolutely nothing wrong with a haphazard bowl of ingredients thrown together that warms you, fills you up and happens to taste good. I go for salty, briny or spicy concoctions in deep ceramics, caressed by a kitchen towel on my lap and ladled out with a big spoon or one of the over-sized antique forks my mom bought from a flea market in England that somehow have passed now into my hands, as antiques will do. I preface my little scenario with ‘there is nothing wrong’ because some might cast my cozy meal off as dull or adolescent, but in curling up to an earthy homemade dinner after a long commute home I feel justly relaxed and satiated. On Monday night, when not always up for the treat of a meal out, we all deserve a comforting one-dish-meal as we slouch in front of the TV or sip on a glass of red wine at the dinner table, envying our weekend selves.
½ box orecchiette
* ½ jar of favorite pasta sauce
½ cup ricotta cheese
1 cup chopped cooked pork or ¾ cup chopped pancetta, lightly pan-fried
4oz mushrooms, sliced.
1 clove garlic, chopped finely
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
Cook box of orecchiette according to the package. In saucepan stir together tomato sauce and ricotta cheese and heat on medium-low, stirring occasionally. Cook the mushrooms with a little olive oil, garlic and a dash of salt in a small pan for a couple of minutes on medium heat. Drain the pasta and add to a large bowl. Add the sauce, mushroom mixture, parsley, some fresh black pepper and toss everything together until pasta is evenly covered with the sauce. Serve with some extra cheese and red pepper flakes in big bowls.
*I used a Pomo Doro sauce that I found at the French Market, a very good store-bought import from Italy that is great if you are able to find. If not, try making your own by mixing ricotta into a sauce of your choice as suggested.