“Creamy ricotta, crunchy broccoli and pops of roasted tomatoes tossed through orecchiette pasta – this is a true Mediterranean dish that you’ll absolutely love. As well as being low in saturated fat compared to most other cheeses, ricotta is also high in calcium, a nutrient that many of us don’t get enough of but is vital in keeping our teeth and bones strong. Roasting it together with the tomatoes in a garlic, oregano and chilli dressing will bring incredible flavour to the finished dish – I love it. ”
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4, and bring a medium pan of salted water to the boil over a high heat.
Peel and finely slice the garlic and place in a small bowl. Pick in the oregano leaves, then add the chilli, a pinch of sea salt and black pepper and 2 tablespoons of oil. Mix together.
Halve the lemon, and roughly chop the tomatoes. Transfer the lemon halves and tomatoes to a medium roasting tray, placing the ricotta in the centre.
Spoon the chilli mixture over the ricotta and tomatoes, then roast for 30 minutes, or until the ricotta is golden.
Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until al dente, which means that it should be soft enough to eat, but still have a bit of bite and firmness to it.
Trim and chop the broccoli into small florets, then add to the pasta for the last 3 minutes.
Scoop out a mug of cooking water, then drain the pasta and broccoli.
When the time’s up, remove the tray from the oven and, using tongs, carefully squeeze a little lemon juice into the tray, then set aside the lemon halves.
Tip in the pasta and broccoli, finely grate in half the Italian hard cheese and mix everything together, breaking up the ricotta as you go, and adding a little pasta water to loosen, if needed. Season to taste, adding a bit more black pepper or lemon juice, if needed.
Divide between your plates and finely grate over the remaining cheese.