Brown Butter Ricotta Rigatoni
- Neutral oil of choice canola, grapeseed, or vegetable
- 6 large cloves of garlic finely chopped
- 8 large leaves of fresh sage
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
- Kosher salt and pepper to taste
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1 lb. rigatoni
- ½ cup finely grated pecorino romano
- Lemon zest for serving
- EVOO for serving
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.
- While water comes to a boil, prepare the topping. Add about ¼ inch of neutral oil to a large skillet along with the chopped garlic.
- Turn heat to medium low and cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic is lightly golden. Be careful not to burn it! When the garlic first starts to heat in the oil it will bubble quite a bit. You will know the garlic is just about done when all the bubbling subsides and the garlic is golden.
- Carefully strain the garlic and oil through a fine mesh sieve into a heat-proof container. Set garlic aside.
- Clean out the pan and carefully (it will be hot) add 2 Tbsp of the garlic oil back into the pan.*
- Add in sage leaves and fry over medium heat until crisp. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Lower heat to medium and add in panko. Stir to coat in oil, and toast until evenly browned.
- Add panko and fried garlic to a small bowl. Crush sage leaves into the bowl and toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- Wipe out the same large skillet, add butter and melt. Once melted, whisk butter continuously until the butter has browned. Keep an eye on it as this can happen quickly! Remove from heat and set aside. Cool slightly (you just don't want it to be super super hot).
- Add ricotta to a food processor along with the browned butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Blend until whipped, smooth, and combined.
- Heavily season boiling water with salt. Drop in pasta and cook until al dente.
- Add ricotta mixture to the same large skillet. Drain pasta (reserving a hefty amount of pasta water) and add to the pan with the ricotta.
- Add in ladles of pasta water and toss to combine. Stir in pecorino.
- Add more ladles of pasta water until a smooth silky sauce texture is reached. You will need to add more pasta water than usual, as the ricotta will absorb quite a bit! Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve immediately topped with lemon zest, more black pepper, a drizzle of EVOO and the crunchy topping. **
*Save extra garlic oil for future cooking! **This is best served right away, hot from the pan. Don’t be shy with the pasta water!
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