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Spaghetti with Sausage, Cherry Tomato, and Ricotta

By Christopher Schonberger

As the summer kicks into high gear and there is actually some daylight to enjoy after work, the last thing you want is to be stuck inside cooking long and arduous meals. With this truth in mind, you have two options: fire up the grill, or make something that's super easy and quick. If you choose the latter route, this simple pasta dish should satisfy your needs nicely. It's hearty and delicious, but not too heavy for a balmy eve.

What You Need:

* Spaghetti
* 4 spicy chicken sausages (or whatever sausages you like)
* 1 large container cherry tomatoes
* Ricotta
* Garlic
* Olive oil
* Salt, pepper, crush red pepper flakes

How to Make It:

Coat your saucepan with olive oil and place it over medium heat, then toss in a few chopped up garlic cloves. Remove the sausages from their casing, crumble them up, and then add them to the pan, cooking for a couple minutes or until the pieces are heated all the way through. Finally, halve or quarter your cherry tomatoes and toss them in. (If you want it to be more saucy, you can also throw in a tin of crushed tomatoes.) Use a wooden spoon to stir the tomatoes around and break them down so there are not too many big chunks and you begin to get a saucelike consistency. At this point, you can switch to low heat and just let the whole thing cook down for an hour or so while you go and chill outside. Season to taste with salt and pepper, as well as crushed red pepper flakes if you want a little kick.

When you're ready to eat, boil your water and add your spaghetti with a dash of olive oil. While it's cooking, add the ricotta to your sauce. Start with a few spoonfuls, stirring them in fully, and then add more if you want a creamier sauce. When the pasta's done, drain it and add to the saucepan, then toss everything up. Serve with hunks of french bread and thrifty pinot noir (or whatever the hell you want to drink!).

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