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Heat the grill to its highest setting and bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and fry the garlic for 30 secs until sizzling. Add the tomatoes, then swill out the cans with a splash of water and add this, too. Season well and simmer for 15 mins to reduce slightly. When the water is boiling, stir in the cavatappi and cook for 1 min less than pack instructions.
Meanwhile, combine the ricotta, double cream and a grating of nutmeg in a bowl, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
Taste the tomato sauce for seasoning, then drain the cavatappi and add to the sauce along with the basil. Stir to combine. Tip half the pasta mixture into the base of a medium ovenproof dish, then dollop over half the ricotta mixture. Pour the rest of the pasta mixture on top, then spoon over the rest of the ricotta mixture. Don’t worry about making it look too neat – you want large pockets of the creamy ricotta mixture throughout the bake.
Sprinkle over the parmesan, then slide under the hot grill for 5 mins, or until the top is golden and the edges are bubbling. Serve immediately with crusty bread for mopping up the bowls.
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