Cacioricotta hails from Puglia, and there had to be at least one recipe with orecchiette, the typical pasta from that region. This recipe, by the way, comes straight from cacioricotta.it, a portal devoted to this semi-hard cheese.
150g cherry tomatoes,
100g speck or lean pancetta,
2 tbspn extra-virgin olive oil,
1 small brown onion,
4-5 basil leaves,
12 or so rocket leaves.
Slice finely the onion and gently fry it in oil until it's slightly coloured - add the cured meat and the cherry tomatoes, sliced in half. Cook over low heat for about ten minutes. Add basil, mix and let it rest for a few more minutes.
In the meantime cook the orecchiette in plenty boiling water for the time indicated on the packet. Drain and toss with the sauce. Away from the heat grate the cacioricotta, dish out and garnish every dish with a couple of leaves of rucola (roo'-kolah - that's rocket).
Two simpler variations of this recipe...
Variation 1: just cut up the tomato, cook it in oil for 10 minutes, toss in the orecchiette (boiled & drained of course), grate the cheese - enjoy hot!
Variation 2: Squash an unpeeled clove of garlic, fry it gently until it takes colour, add the cut up tomato, cook it all some ten minutes or until the combination of oil and tomato forms a creamy sauce. Remove the garlic, add a couple of basil leaves, toss in the orecchiette (boiled & drained of course), grate the cheese, two or 3 more basil leaves and voilà – done.
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