Pasta with Marinated Tomatoes and Four Cheeses

Preparation info

  • Makes


    Main-Course Servings
    • Difficulty


Appears in

Get in There and Cook: A Master Class for the Starter Chef

Get in There and Cook

By Richard Sax

Published 1997

  • About

This is a favorite summer dish. Don’t even think of making it unless you have the reddest, ripest, juiciest summer tomatoes.


  • pounds best-quality ripe tomatoes, cored, seeded (Tomato Basics), and cut into ¾-inch cubes
  • ½ cup shredded fresh basil leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 cup part-skim or fresh whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into ½-inch dice (about ½ cup)
  • 2 ounces Italian fontina cheese, cut into ½-inch dice (about ½ cup)
  • 1 pound dried rigatoni or other short pasta
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese


    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Add a little salt. Add the pasta; cook until al dente, or firm-tender, usually 8 to 10 minutes. Drain well and add to the ricotta mixture; toss with 2 wooden spoons until the cheeses begin to melt.
    4. Spoon the tomato mixture over the top of the pasta and serve immediately, passing some grated Parmesan and a pepper mill at the table.