Tomato & Butter Gigli with Ricotta Salata Crumbs

Julia Child would have celebrated her 100th birthday today and I have a feeling, if she can see all of us celebrating her life, she would be a happy lady. I should have made a coq au vin or a French onion soup today in her honor but I used enough butter that I think it would have made her smile. ;) I loved watching her cook on Sunday afternoons, I think she was on at 3pm. I got lost as I watched her cook and fell in love with her passion, charm and humor. And she loved butter as much as I did, lol. This dish celebrates that love, combining butter with garden ripe tomatoes and gigli pasta. Enjoy!

  • 1/2 pound gigli pasta or any pasta with ridges, cooked al dente
  • 1 pound cherry tomatoes, smashed and halved
  • 1 shallot, cut in half lengthwise, sliced thin and divided
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 ciabatta roll, broken up into crumbs
  • a few purple & green basil leaves, ripped up
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • a handful ricotta salata cheese, crumbled, (about a half a cup)
  • sea salt 
  • fresh ground pepper

In a pan, combine 2 tablespoons of the butter and half of the shallot slices. Let this cook for about three to four minutes until the shallot is softened and begins to brown. Once it begins to brown, add in the ciabatta crumbs, a little salt and a little basil. Let the crumbs get crisp and brown a little bit. Once they are almost done, add in the crumbled ricotta salada until warmed through, stirring often. Into a dutch oven, combine 2 tablespoons of the unsalted butter, olive oil, the remaining shallot and the garlic on low heat. Let it cook until the shallot and garlic are softened, about five minutes. Add in the tomatoes and let them cook on low heat for about ten minutes. If there is still alot of liquid in your pan, increase the heat to high until the liquids have reduced, add in the basil leaves, sea salt and ground pepper. Toss the pasta with the sauce and serve with the ricotta salata crumbs. This serves 3-4.