This is a favorite summer dish. Don’t even think of making it unless you have the reddest, ripest, juiciest summer tomatoes.
2½pounds best-quality ripe tomatoes, cored, seeded (Tomato Basics), and cut into ¾-inch cubes
½cup shredded fresh basil leaves
1garlic clove, minced
Salt, to taste
1cup part-skim or fresh whole-milkricotta cheese
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2ouncesfresh mozzarella cheese, cut into ½-inch dice (about ½ cup)
2ouncesItalian fontina cheese, cut into ½-inch dice (about ½ cup)
1pound dried rigatoni or other short pasta
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Combine the tomatoes, basil, garlic, and a sprinkling of salt in a colander. Place in the sink or over a plate with a rim. Let stand at room temperature for about 1 hour.
In a large serving bowl, mix the ricotta, milk, pepper, and nutmeg with a wooden spoon until fluffy. Stir in the mozzarella and fontina. If not serving right away, cover with plastic wrap; leave the cheese mixture at room temperature.