A layer of ricotta and mozzarella are baked between layers of Spaccatelli and creamy vodka sauce for a bubbly, cheesy delight.
MAKES FOUR - SIX SERVINGS
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the Semolina Spaccatelli to slightly less than al dente. The pasta will continue to cook in the oven, so make sure it's not too soft. Drain and set aside.
In a deep-sided pot, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and a small pinch of kosher salt and cook until fragrant, 2-3 minutes.
Add the vodka. Increase the heat to medium-high and let the vodka reduce by half, 5 minutes.
Add the crushed tomato and tomato sauce. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 10-15 minutes to let the flavors meld.
Measure out the heavy cream. Add 1 tablespoon of the hot tomato sauce to the cream and stir it to temper it (so it won’t break in the sauce). Stir the heavy cream into the sauce, and cook for 5 more minutes. Season the sauce with Kosher salt and black pepper.
Remove the pot from the heat. Using a handheld blender, blend the sauce on low until smooth.
Stir in the cooked Spaccatelli, making sure to coat the pasta well with sauce.
Spread half the pasta in a baking dish. Dollop with half of the ricotta and mozzarella cheese. Top with the remaining pasta and cheese.
Bake for 15 minutes, then grate fresh Parmesan cheese over the top and return to the oven. Bake until gently browned on top, 15 more minutes.
Serve warm with fresh basil and more grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, if desired.
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