Sicilian-style Linguine with Roasted Peppers and Almond Ricotta

Sicilian Linguine with ricotta

Kite Hill’s vegan cheeses are difficult to come by in Canada (at least in our part of it), so we were excited to finally get a chance to try them as we were travelling through the United States. All of them were fantastic, but we were especially fond of the almond ricotta. It’s pleasantly tangy and creamy, and reasonably reminiscent of dairy ricotta. That called to mind Italian and Sicilian pasta dishes that use generous mounds of fresh ricotta as garnish. This is a simple tomato and roasted red pepper sauce, scented with orange juice and grated orange rind. It’s quick to put together and big on flavour.

I add a little semolina flour to the pasta cooking water to help mimic what would be left over if you had been using fresh pasta. It makes a big difference once you add some of the cooking water to the pasta sauce. The extra starch helps bind everything together. Leave it out if you plan to substitute gluten-free pasta. Most gluten-free pasta gives up enough starch to accomplish the same effect.

Sicilian-style Linguine with Roasted Peppers and Kite Hill Almond Ricotta
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2 servings
  • 8oz/227g Linguine
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoons semolina flour (optional – used to enrich the cooking water, making it more like what would be available if you were using fresh pasta)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ medium onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large red pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and sliced
  • ½ teaspoon dry oregano leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon dry thyme leaves
  • ¼ - ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 ½ teaspoons finely grated orange rind (from about ½ orange)
  • ⅓ cup orange juice
  • 14oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • Kite Hill Almond Ricotta
Cook the Pasta
  1. Bring 2.5 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Stir in the salt and the optional semolina flour. The water will foam a bit, and turn cloudy. Add the pasta.
  2. Stir a few times to make sure the pasta isn’t sticking.
  3. Cook it to about 80% done around 7-8 minutes. (Aim for about 2 minutes away from fully cooked)
  4. Drain the pasta, reserving at least 1 cup of the cooking water to finish the sauce. You likely won’t need all of the water, but it’s better to have too much available than not enough.
Make the Sauce
  1. As the water is being heated, start cooking the sauce
  2. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat until very hot. Add the oil, then the onions. Cook, stirring often until the onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the garlic, roasted pepper slice, dried herbs and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the orange zest, juice and diced tomatoes with their juices to the pan. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for about 8 minutes, or until the sauce thickens. (Start cooking the pasta after you add the tomatoes to the pan).
  5. Once the pasta is drained, add it to the pan with the sauce along with about ¼ cup of pasta cooking water. Mix everything well and simmer until the sauce thickens to coat the noodles, and the pasta is cooked. You may need to add more pasta cooking water if the sauce thickens too quickly.
  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper (do it now because the pasta water will add salt. It will need very little additional salt)
  7. Stir in the chopped parsley and nutritional yeast.
  8. Divide the pasta between two bowls and top with a generous amount of Kite Hill Almond Ricotta.

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