Shells with Olives & Ricotta Salata

Shells with Olives & Ricotta Salata
  • 4Servings


  • salt and pepper
  • 1 pound medium or large pasta shells
  • about 1/3 cup EVOO
  • 7 - 8 flat anchovy fillets
  • 1 small chile pepper (such as italian cherry or fresno), seeded and finely chopped, or 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 5 - 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup mixed pitted green and black olives, chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2 tablespoons white wine or dry vermouth
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves or mixed flat-leaf parsley and celery leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup crumbled ricotta salata


Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.

While the pasta is working, in a large skillet, heat the EVOO, 5 to 6 turns of the pan, over medium heat. Add the anchovies and cook, stirring, until melted into the oil. Add the chile and garlic and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes. Stir in the olives and lemon zest; season with pepper. Pour in the white wine (or vermouth) and stir to deglaze the pan, scraping up the browned bits.

Stir the reserved pasta cooking water, the lemon juice and parsley (or parsley and celery leaves) into the sauce in the skillet. Add the pasta and toss. Top with the cheese.