Really good food does not need to be complicated.
On occasion we are drawn in by the allure of a sophisticated dish, but more often we love the challenge of creating something delicious and genuine out of humble ingredients. Certainly, fancy kitchen utensils and advanced cooking methods are useful, but there is a lot to be said about starting with simple, quality food and knowing how to put the right flavors together. And if we can do this in just two or three steps, all the better.
1 lb. short pasta, such as penne or rigatoni
1/2 lb (225 g) fresh whole milk ricotta
Bring a pot of water to boil. Toss a heaping handful of coarse salt into the water, and add the pasta. Cook the pasta al dente according to the time specified on the package. Drain the pasta, preserving two cups of the cooking water.
Transfer the pasta back into the pot, and add the ricotta to it. Mix the ricotta into the pasta, slowly adding as much of the preserved cooking water as is needed to achieve a creamy sauce.
Serve immediately with a grating of Parmigiano and, if desired, freshly ground black pepper.