• Lecce pasta with salted ricotta (sagne n'cannulate with cacio ricotta) (Benito Martin)

This pasta dish can happily be eaten on the couch watching a movie without any messy red-sauce splatters because the shape of the pasta "twisted ribbons" catch the sauce neatly. 






Skill level

Average: 4.1 (5 votes)

This pasta is a specialty from Lecce in the Puglia region of southern Italy. It's handrolled, resembling twisted ribbons - to mimic the Baroque architecture of the town. It’s served with a very simple cherry tomato sauce with cacio ricotta crumbled over to add tang, richness and depth. This may seem like a lot of oil but it emulsifies with the tomato to form a rich thick sauce that coats the pasta.


This recipe is part of our Dinner and A Movie collection paired with our SBS On Demand Italian movie selection brought to you by Alfa Romeo.


Pasta fresca

  • 75 g pasta (00) flour
  • 25 g semolina flour, plus extra for dusting
  • ¼ tsp fine salt
  • 1 egg (55 g each)


Salsa di pomodoro

  • 80 ml (⅓ cup) extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 small cloves garlic, peeled and lightly bruised
  • 2 punnets cherry tomatoes or baby Roma tomatoes, halved
  • ½ bunch basil leaves, plus small ones to garnish
  • ½ cup finely grated cacio ricotta or ricotta salata 

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Resting time: 30 minutes

Make the pasta dough. Sieve the flours onto a clean workbench and add the salt. Make a well in the centre and add the egg to the well. Using a fork or your fingers, gradually mix the flour into the egg until all combined and the mix comes together to form a rough dough. Knead with your hands until a smooth, elastic soft dough forms (5-10 minutes) that is not too sticky. Place an upturned bowl over the dough and let it rest for 30 minutes.

Roll out the pasta dough. Divide the dough into 2 pieces and leave one piece under the bowl. Lightly dust the workbench and other piece of dough with flour. Flatten the dough into a 1 cm thick rough rectangle. Pass the dough through the widest setting of a pasta machine. Fold the sheet into thirds by bringing in the left then the right end. Feed the dough from the lip end (not the folded end) through the machine again. Repeat 1-2 more times until the sheet is looking silky. Reduce the setting and feed the entire sheet through (no more folding is necessary). Keep feeding the sheet through all the settings until you reach the lowest setting. Lightly dust the sheet with flour as necessary to stop the sheet from sticking. Trim edges of the sheet so there are straight and neat. Cut the sheet widthways into 1 cm-thick strips.

Rolling the pasta into ribbons. Lightly dust 2 larges tray with the coarse semolina. Lay a strip of pasta at 45 degree angle on the workbench in front of you. Lay the thick end of a round chopstick or a knitting needing horizontally at the top end of the strip and wind the pasta onto the chopstick. Place the base of your palm onto the chopstick and roll your hand down towards your body so that the pasta winds onto the chopstick like a curling ribbon. Slide the chopstick. Pick up each end of the strip with your hands and, using a wringing motion, twist in opposite directions to make the “curls tighter”. 

Make the tomato sauce. Place the olive and garlic in a large frying pan over medium-low heat and gently cook the garlic, turning occasionally, until it’s slightly golden and aromatic but not burnt, about 5 minutes. You may want to occasionally tilt the pan and baste the garlic with the oil.

Add the tomatoes - be careful as the oil may splatter - increase the heat to a gentle boil and cook until they have collapsed and a rich, thick sauce has formed (about 20 minutes). Stir occasionally to make sure the base doesn’t catch. 

Cook the pasta. Bring a large stockpot of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until just al dente. Drain and return back to the pan.

Stir the basil leaves through the sauce until wilted. Stir through the cheese until melted and thick, about 1 minute.

Add the sauce to the pasta. Gently stir so that the pasta is coated. Divide among shallow pasta bowls, garnish with extra cheese and basil leaves and drizzle over some extra virgin olive oil.