Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the orecchiette and cook as the label directs. Reserve 1/4 cup cooking water, then drain.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until the garlic is soft but not browned, three to four minutes. Stir in the tomatoe sauce. Increase the heat to high and cook until the sauce is thickened, about ten minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add half the ricotta and toss
Add the cavatelli and the reserved cooking water to the skillet; cook, tossing, until warmed through, two to three minutes. Divide among bowls and top with remaining ricotta.