A vibrant, comforting supper dish which I'm very pleased with and which is far lighter than you might expect – ricotta being very low in fat. I used homemade ricotta, but of course the shop-bought stuff would do. The chillies are there for fragrance more than heat, the dissolved anchovies bring something deep and savoury.
Conchiglie with anchovies, chilli and ricotta
1 tin anchovies in extra virgin olive oil
2 large red chillies, de-seeded and finely sliced
A small splash of milk
100g fresh ricotta
Small bunch parsley, roughly chopped
Drain the anchovies, reserving their oil, and soak them in the milk for 20 minutes. Sauté the chillies in the same oil until they've softened, then remove the anchovies from the milk and stir them into the chillies so they dissolve into a glorious salty sludge.
Boil the pasta in well-salted water until almost ready, then drain, reserving the cooking water. Return the pasta to the pan, add the chilli and anchovy mix, the ricotta and a ladleful or so of the cooking water. Continue cooking over a medium heat until the pasta is al dente, adding more of the water if needed. Throw in the parsley and serve immediately.