I love the combination of ricotta and honey so this recipe instantly appealed to me. In his gorgeous and charming cookbook, Sweet Myrtle & Bitter Honey: The Mediterranean Flavors of Sardinia, Efisio Farris uses ingredients from his native Sardinia. Not able to jet off to Italy any time soon (how I wish), I went to my own local food haunts and bought honey at the Union Square Greenmarket, pasta and fresh ricotta at Di Palo’s and saffron from Kalustyans. The result: a warm, comforting, perfect dish for Sunday dinner.
Pasta with Ricotta, Saffron, and Bitter Honey
Recipe from Sweet Myrtle and Bitter Honey: The Mediterranean Flavors of Sardinia
1 pound malloreddus pasta (teardrop-shaped with ridges, but you can use any small-shaped pasta that can be coated with the sauce)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup milk (preferably sheep or goat’s milk)
1 cup sheep’s milk ricotta cheese (or other creamy ricotta cheese)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon saffron
1/2 cup bitter honey
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Make the dish
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add pasta and boil for 10-15 minutes, or until al dente.
While pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat, stirring continuously. Add milk and ricotta, stirring until well incorporated. Add saffron, stirring to infuse the sauce, about three minutes. Remove from heat.
In a small saucepan over low heat, warm the bitter honey. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.
Drain pasta and add to ricotta mixture, toss well over medium heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour into a ceramic serving bowl, then stir in warmed honey and toss to combine. Serve immediately.
Where to buy
Union Square Greenmarket/Broadway at E. 17th/Mon, Wed, Fri and Sat/8-6
Di Palo’s Fine Foods/200 Grand St at Mott/212-680-0545
Kalustyans/123 Lexington Ave b/w 28th & 29th/212-685-3451