Ricotta is a soft, mild and slightly sweet cheese. It’s often used in fillings, stuffings, spreads and cheesecakes (and makes an incredible topping for this baked casserole).
Cooking pasta can be trickier than it seems! For every 1 quart (4 c) water for every 4 oz. of pasta. Once the water has boiled vigorously, add pasta gradually and stir frequently during cooking to prevent it from sticking together.
To add flavor before boiling noodles, use 1/2 teaspoon salt for every 8 oz. of pasta. Stir in just as the water starts to boil and make sure it dissolves before adding pasta.
Unless specified, don’t rinse pasta after draining or sauces won’t cling. Pasta is usually only rinsed for cold salads.
Purchasing the best pasta for cooking isn’t always easy! Here are a few tips for purchasing and storing pasta:
• Dried pasta: Avoid broken pasta or pasta that looks cracked. It may fall apart during cooking. Label, date and store tightly covered in a cool, dry location up to one year.
• Fresh pasta: Avoid packages with moisture droplets or liquid; the pasta may be moldy or mushy. The pasta should be smooth and evenly colored without broken or crumbly pieces. Freeze unopened fresh pasta in its original package up to 9 months. Leftover uncooked pasta can be frozen in an airtight container up to 3 months and homemade fresh pasta up to 1 month.
If you don’t have tomato soup, you can substitute 2 cups pasta sauce.
Improvise for even more flavor--try using hot Italian pork sausage.