Leftover ricotta, any ideas?
- lynnlato Aug 2, 2008 10:26 AM
I made a ricotta pie and brooklyn cheese puffs and now I have abot a cup of ricotta left over. I don't want to freeze it but just assume use it up. I'm stumped. Who's got some ideas?
And while we're here... has anyone ever made manicotti using crepes (crespelle) in place of dried pasta shells? I stumbled upon this old world tradition a few years ago and let me tell ya, it's delicious. The crepes can be made well in advance and frozen. Try it some time.
speaking of crepes, why not use the ricotta as filling for some? or make blintzes!
ricotta makes a delicious, simple dessert - whipped, lightly sweetened, flavored with a little of your favorite extract or liqueur, and served with fruit/berries and/or sauce. perfect for breakfast as well, although i'd personally leave out the liqueur in that case ;)
I was going to suggest making crespelle and using the ricotta as the filling. What I do is to make what is essentially a ravioli filling of ricotta, eggs, parsley and grated cheese (with a few small cubes of mozzarella folded in, and fill the crespelle. I put them in a baking pan with a bit of plain marinara on the bottom, and some more on the top when they are all in the baking pan. Cover with aluminum foil and bake. They make a really great vegetarian entree, and they also freeze quite well though are best fresh I feel.
you could make a small pan of manicotti... while i realize this is baked (and its hot out now) I like to make it with a fresh tomato sauce & lots of fresh herbs... so it is almost like a pomodoro sauce. also I use a CI idea of no-boil lasagna noodles.. I don't normally like no-boil noodles for regular lasagna... but for this (I think because the filling is so wet) the thinner pasta works well (and is easy)
mix the ricotta w/ a 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup parmesan
toss with fresh chopped herbs (basil, parsley), pepper and a little salt
soak no-boil noodle in hot water (to soften slightly).
*make sure not to do too many at a time or they will stick together*
spread thin layer of cheese mixture on noodle & roll up
put pomodoro sauce of choice (or spiced up pomi) in thin layer on bottom of pyrex dish
placed rolled up noodles on sauce, cover w/ remaining sauce.
bake until bubbly (i think 350 for 30-40 mins). I usually cover w/ foil at first.. then maybe top with extra parm and broil to brown top
while it does require the oven... this with a nice salad and crusty bread and wine.. makes really great dinner. esp w/ fresh tomatoes... can't beat it.
Last night I made a small amount of ricotta for stuffing some Farmers' Market "Rounde de Nice" zucchini. Sauteed the zucchini innards w/ scallions & garlic. Mixed in equal amounts of chopped parsley & basil. Baked 45 minutes and served w/ some stuffed red bell peppers. Good dinner.
Often, with extra ricotta, I'll do a spinach-ricotta pasta (or crespelle) tower because I'm lazy.
Ricotta fritters are great. I'm not sure if Brooklyn cheese puffs are the same thing. Epicurious has recipes for orange flavored and lemon flavored. They are a nice breakfast treat. They also work for dessert.
I just had a delicious salad at a restaurant the other night consisting of baby beets w/ mache and hazelnuts over a small mound of house made ricotta.
Stir your cup of ricotta with a beaten egg, a little nutmeg, a few tablespoons of grated parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste. Using a small spoon, stuff 8-10 zucchini blossoms with the mixture, and tuck a well-rinsed anchovy fillet inside. Pinch and twist the tops of the blossoms shut as best you can. In a roomy bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 cup club soda (or beer). Bring an inch of oil in a heavy skillet to 375 degrees, then dip the stuffed blossoms into the batter, coating each completely, and drop carefully into the hot oil. Turn the blossoms for about 2 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with sea salt to taste and serve.
re: Tom Steele
Serve?!?! Whenever I stuff and fry zucchini blossoms, they don't make it off the draining paper! Yum, yum. I plant Italian zucchini plants because it's the male blossoms I'm after; give away the squash!
I've found zucchini blossoms to be very versatile when it comes to stufffing. As to technique, frying is the way I always go!
I'll often put in mozzarella w/ whatever fresh herbs I'm in the mood for. Ricotta sounds okay, so long as it's drained -- have you had any problems w/ water leaking out and causing a calamity in your frying oil?
WOW! So many fabulous ideas. I knew my fellow CHers would come through. Now, I just have to pick an idea and run with it.
All the dessert options sound tempting, believe me, but I'm not big on dessert (i'm a t1 diabetic) so, I think I'll lean towards the savory. I've gotta say, though, that whipping the ricotta w/ some sugar or honey and serving it w/ some balsamic berries would be a fabulous dessert for me and I will definitely do that soon.
The squash blossoms sound phenomenal! I only wish I could find some here. The pizza is another great idea too. And the stuffed tomatoes (although I couldn't get the link to work for me). Seriously, it all sounds good. I may have to go out and buy some more.
The gnudi remind me of a dish I had at The Spotted Pig in NYC last year. Mmmmmm. That could be "the one".
Thanks again, everyone. You rock!
Ricotta mixed into a basic tomato pasta sauce makes an easy and lovely creamy sauce. It is such a quick way to do something yummy. I use it all the time when I make gnocci.
1 cup is not much.
I add ricotta to my scrambled eggs and omelets. I also just eat it like others eat cottage cheese. I like it savory, so I add salt, pepper, some sundried tomatoes and that's lunch.
I've also made ricotta dips for veggies... just whizz it up in the food processor with a little (about a tablespoon or two) of EVOO and then whatever herbs you like. Works great obviously with basil and sundried tomatoes. Or spinach and garlic. Or whatever you've got in the fridge.
I am making calzones with left over ricotta for dinner tonight. I use the ready-made pizza dough from Trader Joes, which makes for a very quick and easy meal.
not sure if you still have any left after making the stuffed tomatoes, but just in case, here's a recipe adapted from Mollie Katzen's book, "Vegetable Dishes I Can't Live Without"
Makes 4 servings
1 Tbsp EVOO
4 firm portobello mushrooms [4" diam.], stems & gills removed [leave edges of caps intact]
1/4 c + 2 Tbsp ricotta
1/4 c + 2 Tbsp low fat cottage cheese
1/2 c shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
1 large garlic clove, minced [1 tsp]
1 medium firm ripe tomato, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh cracked black pepper
1. Place large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. After about a minute, add oil & swirl to coat pan. Lay mushrooms cap-side down in skillet & cook undisturbed, about 10 min. Turn & cook on other side for 10 min. Turn mushrooms over again & remove pan from heat.
2. Combine ricotta, cottage cheese, mozzarella & garlic in small bowl .Season with freshly ground black pepper to taste.
3. Spoon about 3 Tbsp of the cheese mixture into each mushroom cap [leave in pan], spreading gently to fill evenly.
4. Preheat broiler.
5. Arrange a few tomato slices on each mushroom & sprinkle evenly with thyme & Parmesan. Broil about 5 minutes or until tops turn golden brown [watch carefully to prevent burning].
You could use it as a spread for panini...ricotta is great with sliced salame & picked veg on a panino, or on a grilled veggie panino, or a fresh tomato, oregano, anchovy panino. Look here: www.galbani.com (italian ricotta supplier) for recipes.
Also great in world's easiest pasta: cook some chopped zucchine with together with dried pasta (your choice) in boiling salted water. When pasta is done, drain, drizzle with olive oil, and stir in leftover ricotta, lots of grated parmigiano-reggiano, oregano, and fresh ground black pepper. Yummy & creamy taste yet still light (& lo-fat).