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This pasta dish was inspired by one of Andre's favorite NYC restaurants, Bar Pitti. They call it Penne Rustica and it is a simple dish of tomatoes, basil, and lots of ricotta salata. It's perfect for summer, as the sauce is left raw and you toss the hot pasta with it to create a refreshing and delicious summer dish.
The success of this dish lies in the quality and flavor of your ingredients, so make sure they are delicious. To start, bring a large pot of water to boil and generously season with sea salt. While you are waiting for the water, place the diced tomatoes and olive oil in a large mixing bowl. Stir to coat and season to taste with sea salt and black pepper.
Gently tear a few handfuls of basil into the bowl and stir to coat. Cook the pasta until al dente.
Once the pasta is cooked al dente, remove it from the water and add it directly into the mixing bowl with the tomatoes and basil. Stir to coat. Taste. Add sea salt and pepper as necessary. Add more olive oil if needed. Finish by grating fresh ricotta salata into the bowl. Stir to combine. Finish with more ricotta salata on top and serve immediately. Enjoy!