Ricotta...tell me what you do with it
Silly me...I'm a sucker for a sale.
I bought some ricotta that will need using up very soon. Can it be frozen?
What do YOU do when you have a surplus of ricotta. Putting together something as time consuming as lasagne doesn't appeal to me right now, and I AM cooking for one.
Can I use it instead of cream cheese in baking, such as cheesecake?
How about a savoury cheese pie, maybe similar to a quiche?
I love ricotta. I'm even a sucker for hot pasta tossed in a heaping spoonful of ricotta and maybe some parm, maybe some peas thrown in. Yum!
But, yes, it is useful for other things. If you want to do a quiche, throw a few dollops of ricotta on before baking. They'll be little treasures in the quiche once it is cooked. This is also fun on pizza.
But to be really different, and very easy, just stir some ricotta together with honey and vanilla extract, to taste. Depending on how much you make, crack in an egg or two and stir until complete incorporated. Fill little ramekins with the mixture and bake until set. Flip them out of the ramekins and top with a fruit sauce or chocolate sauce. It's a lovely little dessert that is so easy and much lighter and fresher than a cheesecake.
Last, as something I haven't tried but looks lovely, Giada has a recipe (probably on the Food Network website) for a chocolate ricotta pie.
My dad and I used to make a somewhat similar dish. One box of rotini (or other pasta with very deep grooves), one 16 oz. tub of ricotta, 4 or 6 links of hot italian sausage and enough of your favorite tomato sauce to cover the sausage in a sauce pan. Brown the sausages, add the tomato sauce and simmer until cooked through. Cook the pasta, drain and then return to the pasta pot and toss with the ricotta immediately. Dish up the pasta, top with sausage and sauce, some Parmesan and you're good to go. Perfect fall/winter meal. Another nice feature. Once its all cooked, you can dish it into freezable/microwavable containers and it will do wonderfully.
Ricotta can definitely be frozen. Think of how much frozen lasagna you see in the market. I make a dish with ziti or penne, tomato sauce and stir in enough ricotta to make the sauce pink. Then I shave in a bit of pecorino romano and maybe melt some mozz on top. Ultimate comfort food.
I love this spagetti pie that I make using left over spagetti. Whip up 2 or 3 eggs and add a few big tblsp of ricotta cheese and parm cheese, then add your spagetti. At this point you can get creative and add garlic, basil, chicken, ground sausage, I've added salmon, etc. Put into pie plate and bake 20-30 min. 350 degrees. If you want red sauce, first add your fav. red sauce on top and grated jack cheese (or our favorite cheese). Sometimes I leave it white top, with only parm cheese on top. I've done it with scallops and shrimp too. My favorite was simple with salmon, garlic and dill.
Once done, cut into wedges.
Cassata cake a la Nana. :) Ricotta, vanilla, sugar, tiny semi sweet chocolate chips for a filling. Line a spring form pan with lady fingers, bottom and sides. Put half the filling into the pan, add another layer of lady fingers, put the rest of the filling on top, then add decorations of lady fingers and maraschino cherries (if you like). Refrigerate for at least two hours, eight is better. Then eat eat eat eat. :)
Eat it straight out of the container with a sprinkle of slat and fresh pepper.
Make a "White Pie" get some pizza dough, throw some ricoota, fress mozz, maybe some prosciutto, or sauted mushroms and bake until nice and bubbly.