Weeknight Cooking

15-Minute Bucatini Marinara With Ricotta

July 29, 2019
7 Ratings
Photo by Ty Mecham. Food Stylist: Samantha Seneviratne. Prop Stylist: Sophia Strangio.
  • Prep time 2 minutes
  • Cook time 13 minutes
  • Serves 2 to 4
Author Notes

Weeknight pasta doesn't get easier—or tastier—than this speedy marinara sauce that calls on just a handful of ingredients. You'll need a few pantry-friendly staples, the most important being good-quality finely chopped canned tomatoes (they are the heart of this sauce after all). But don't forget the garlic, basil, bucatini (or spaghetti, or almost any type of long pasta really), and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for sprinkling either. The final touch, which I borrowed from my colleague Ella Quittner, who actually inspired this recipe: a swoop of ricotta on the plate, so you get a forkful of creamy cheese in every bite. —Erin Alexander

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe was developed in partnership with Mutti®. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 3 large cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans Mutti Finely Chopped Tomatoes (Polpa)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/3 cup packed fresh basil leaves, rinsed and patted dry
  • 3/4 pound bucatini pasta, cooked al dente
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
  • 1/3 cup ricotta, for serving
  1. Slice each clove of garlic as thin as possible—aim for 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch—then cut each clove-worth of slices in half, so you end up with a bunch of thin half-moons.
  2. Set a heavy, non-reactive pan over a medium-low flame and add 2 tablespoons of butter. Let it just melt, and add the garlic. Keep the heat low—we don’t want the garlic to brown. Stir frequently with a wooden spoon until the garlic has softened and is just beginning to go translucent, turning the heat down if needed, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the finely chopped tomatoes and the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Let everything come to a bubbling simmer, stirring to mix here and there. Keep at a bubbling simmer until the tomato sauce is slightly darker in color, and has thickened—about 10 minutes or so. If the sauce is still looking a little thin, let simmer for an extra few minutes. (I usually like to boil my pasta while the sauce cooks.)
  4. Meanwhile, take a few basil leaves at a time, roll them, and slice into ribbons about 1/4-inch thick.
  5. When the pasta is done, add 1 teaspoon of kosher salt to the sauce, taste, then add more as needed (I sometimes like to add another big pinch).
  6. Remove the sauce from heat, stir in the basil, the pasta, the Parmigiano-Reggiano, and serve. To serve, add a good-size swoosh of ricotta onto the plate, then add the bucatini marinara on top, and sprinkle with more Parmigiano-Reggiano.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • FrugalCat
  • Cheri LaFleur
    Cheri LaFleur
  • Erin Alexander
    Erin Alexander
  • Frances Kubick
    Frances Kubick

4 Reviews

FrugalCat August 12, 2021
I halved the recipe (very easy when the original calls for 2 cans) but doubled the ricotta. Very good with garlic bread and meatballs on the side.
Cheri L. September 30, 2019
Made this simple down to basic sauce. Finally a sauce I actually like & 1 I can make in my busy day. Keeper! And I can use it for so many other recipes too. Worth your 15mins!
Erin A. October 3, 2019
Yay! So glad you liked it!
Frances K. August 1, 2019
We love this with the ricotta underneath the pasta. I make this with fresh tomatoes from the garden and I don't cook the garlic first, just throw it in the pan with the tomatoes. You don't need any meat with all the cheese and it's so good!