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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.

  1. msmarabini Aug 5, 2008 07:20 AM

    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).

    1. angelo04 Aug 4, 2008 02:10 PM


      I made vanilla ice cream with Ricotta this week end and it was pretty damn good I must say.

      1. goodhealthgourmet Aug 4, 2008 11:48 AM

        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"

        Portobello Parmesan
        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].

        1 Reply
        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
          lynnlato Aug 4, 2008 11:53 AM

          Nice, ghg! I'm all out of ricotta, but I will keep this recipe for the next go 'round. Thanks!

        2. s
          staceybl Aug 3, 2008 06:17 PM

          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.

          1. Jennalynn Aug 3, 2008 03:22 PM

            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.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Jennalynn
              lynnlato Aug 3, 2008 03:57 PM

              I love the dip idea, thanks.

              1. re: lynnlato
                gtrekker2003 Aug 3, 2008 05:57 PM

                I made a ricotta ice creme/gelato a couple of weeks ago and that was delicious. Googled the recipe.

            2. p
              pengcast Aug 3, 2008 02:43 PM

              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. Firegoat Aug 3, 2008 08:18 AM

                Use it in a mini-lasagna for one made in a bread pan.

                1. lynnlato Aug 3, 2008 08:16 AM

                  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!

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: lynnlato
                    HillJ Aug 3, 2008 08:46 AM


                    lynnlato-here's the tomato recipe link

                    1. re: HillJ
                      lynnlato Aug 3, 2008 09:13 AM

                      HillJ, thanks so much, these are gorgeous! This may be a great way to use up my heirloom maters too for dinner tonight. Yippee!

                      1. re: lynnlato
                        HillJ Aug 3, 2008 09:30 AM

                        my pleasure! just a sidenote, when I sub'd crumbled blue cheese for ricotta the 2nd time I used the recipe they were an equally big hit!

                        1. re: HillJ
                          lynnlato Aug 3, 2008 06:10 PM

                          These stuffed tomatoes rocked! They were ridiculously easy too. I've attached a couple of before and after pics for you. The only difference is that I added a bit of pecorino romano and some fresh mozz. And, used a variety of heirloom maters instead of the romas. Thanks again!

                          1. re: lynnlato
                            HillJ Aug 3, 2008 06:36 PM

                            hi lynnlato! Great substitution ideas! Yummy photos too. I'm so glad you found the recipe to your liking. Heirlooms rock!

                    2. re: lynnlato
                      sarahellis Aug 3, 2008 06:25 PM

                      i try not to eat sugar and i eat ricotta as dessert all the time. my favorite mixture is with cocoa powder (the good stuff), splenda, a few drops of almost extract and a pinch of salt.

                    3. TongoRad Aug 3, 2008 07:35 AM

                      Spinach and ricotta gnudi are the first thing that came to mind. This recipe looks good:

                      1. Tom Steele Aug 3, 2008 07:02 AM

                        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.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Tom Steele
                          NYchowcook Aug 5, 2008 04:55 AM

                          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?

                          1. re: NYchowcook
                            lynnlato Aug 5, 2008 05:55 AM

                            Goat cheese right of the farm and lots of fresh herbs - mmmmm. Do u batter yours? Tempura?

                        2. s
                          spkspk Aug 3, 2008 12:55 AM

                          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.

                          1. d
                            Delphine Aug 2, 2008 06:01 PM

                            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.

                            1. a
                              aspwong Aug 2, 2008 04:27 PM

                              I made an arugula pizza bianca last night, it was pretty tasty and easy. Just spread ricotta on pizza shell, sprinkle with parmesan and mozzarella and bake in oven. When bubbling, take it out and sprinkle arugula, salt and pepper and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: aspwong
                                HillJ Aug 2, 2008 04:33 PM

                                aspwong, that's sound delicious.
                                note to self: buy ricotta!

                              2. s
                                Sherri Aug 2, 2008 03:52 PM

                                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.

                                1. HillJ Aug 2, 2008 03:06 PM

                                  the Pioneer Woman just demonstrated a stuffed tomato using a ricotta mixture.
                                  We made them this week and even my fussy daughter loved them.
                                  www.pioneerwoman.com/cooking to look up her current recipe.

                                  1. withalonge Aug 2, 2008 11:49 AM

                                    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.

                                    1. roxlet Aug 2, 2008 10:58 AM

                                      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.

                                      1. goodhealthgourmet Aug 2, 2008 10:54 AM

                                        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 ;)

                                        1. Vetter Aug 2, 2008 10:44 AM

                                          You could throw the ricotta into pancakes, quiche, ice cream, into an omelet with veggies, or bake it with a little olive oil, thyme, and salt and pepper.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Vetter
                                            azhotdish Aug 2, 2008 09:04 PM

                                            These pancakes are awesome - I usually add some vanilla and lemon zest to it.

                                            Ricotta drizzled with honey and fresh berries is delicious.

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