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Cooking with Ricotta

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I love it. LOVE IT. and have somehow managed to never really notice or eat it before, so now I need you best recipes for ricotta. So far I know that its good on pizza and for stuffing pasta, but I will take any/every tip you have out there.

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  1. One very simple one: pasta (shoty, like penne) tossed with very fresh ricotta, cracked black pepper, and grated pecorino. Add a little pasta water to think the ricotta. Add cooked, crumbled Italian sausage, too.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bob96

      My mom makes this without sausage, but with either peas or asparagus. Great spring dish!

    2. I like it in eggplant rollatini, which may be a bit prosaic for you. But it's good!

      2 Replies
      1. re: small h

        Both sound good, I really have no experience with it so any tips will help. I know its a little bland compared to most foods, but for some reason I just can't get enough of it

        1. re: NateStraus

          I had a pal in college who mixed ricotta cheese with white rice and vanilla ice cream and ate it for dessert. Not really my thing, but it was nice in a bland, monochrome kind of way.

      2. first ideas that come to mind:
        - cheesecake
        - gnudi
        - ricotta pie
        - cannoli
        - pancakes
        - blintzes
        - calzones

        and i'm sure you can find tons more here:
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/528510
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/752774
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/315482
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/407646
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/768282
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/772845

        1. Make gnudi, which is basically boiled ricotta dumplings.

          This links to my favorite recipe: http://thepauperedchef.com/2010/04/ho...

          5 Replies
          1. re: 4Snisl

            That is absolutely amazing...definitely will be hard to top. I probably won't go as far as bathing them in butter and sugar, but I'm sure they will still taste great with other toppings. Have you ever served them with different sides or toppings?

            1. re: NateStraus

              Oh gosh....come to think of it, I actually have never made them in brown butter! I'm sure it is heavenly, but I have only ever eaten them:

              -plain

              - tossed in pesto, or drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and topped with toasted pine nuts, shaved Parmesan and basil

              -with a fresh, quick tomato sauce

              I hope you (all) like them!

              1. re: NateStraus

                I've made gnudi similar to this before. I made them with spinach and roasted mushrooms (always with a little nutmeg, of course), and served them over some roasted eggplant, zucchini, fire roasted peppers, and garlic.

                They were excellent!

              2. re: 4Snisl

                This looks amazing, and what an interesting technique!

                1. re: roxlet

                  I agree, thank you for posting 4Snisl! I can't wait to try these!

              3. Also, is there anything ricotta is known well for pairing with? It seems like it often comes with spinach(which is good because I love spinach), a starch and red sauce, or fruit in deserts. Is there any other popular pairings? eggplant?

                1. Used as one layer for a multiple layered Lasagne. I combine 2 cups ricotta with one egg , freshly ground black pepper, a pinch of salt and minced Italian parsley.

                  Another way I use it is to place a dollop right from the container on top of a plate of macaroni that has already been sauced, freshly grated pecorino Romano or Parmigiano, then a bit of minced parsley as garnish. The ricotta is mixed into the pasta as one eats.

                  Also can be mixed into sauced ziti, for example, with other cheeses then baked in a 350F oven for about 45 minutes.

                  Roast eggplant sliced till creamy, add a dollop of macaroni sauce on top of each slice then add another dollop of ricotta then a garnish of fresh minced basil leaves..... or layer and bake as in above.

                  ( for less time)

                  Here's a recipe for Eggplant and Ricotta crostini:

                  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/an...

                  1. Nate, if you drain your ricotta over a bowl in the frig to achieve a drier ricotta you have a whole different category of ricotta-love. Many mornings dry ricotta cheese is in my eggs, toast, cheese plate, with fresh fruit, etc. Drier yet, makes excellent pan fried cakes (an alternative to griddle cakes). It's a wonderful product! Happy experimenting.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: HillJ

                      Nice suggestions those, HillJ. Also there's Ricotta Salata. A drier, semi-hard grating cheese...a little salty which adds another flavor note to various savory dishes.

                      1. re: Gio

                        Oh delish, ricotta salata! Excellent with garden fresh veggies and some olive oil.
                        Okay, now I'm hungry!

                        1. re: HillJ

                          It's almost time for tramezzini, si.

                          1. re: Gio

                            You've got my number! Still a bit early but a girl can dream...http://www.tramezzininyc.com/

                    2. If you think store-bought ricotta is good, try making your own - true nirvana. Very simple, too, and you probably already have the ingredients in your house (milk, cream, salt, vinegar or lemon juice). Anyway, I love it in all the things already mentioned on this thread, but one of my favorite meals is my Italian-style meatloaf, stuffed with ricotta and mozzarella. Let me know if you'd like the recipe.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: biondanonima

                        YES. I would love to try it, that sounds awesome. I live in my college dorms right now, but i plan on trying to make my own as soon as I am home, I also want to experiment with cow/goat/sheep versions

                        1. re: NateStraus

                          Then I hope you will give the recipe I cited below when you have time Nate, it includes goat cheese and ricotta. Enjoy!

                          1. re: HillJ

                            I will, I don't really have a good place to dry ricotta currently because I share my mini-fridge with 2 other students, but can you tell me more about the griddle cake alternative you mentioned?

                            1. re: NateStraus

                              Nate, the recipe below uses store bought ricotta and goat cheese straight out of the packaged. Dry ricotta requires a bit of a setup in the refrigerator (mesh strainer to hold the cheese and a large bowl for the liquid to drain off) overnight. In order to make ricotta cakes that are more like tofu (in style only), you will need dry ricotta cheese first.

                              In the meantime, here's a recipe that I follow for griddle cakes that are more along the line of pancakes, using ricotta out of the container: http://awhiskandaspoon.com/2008/09/25...

                          2. re: NateStraus

                            Here you go! All amounts are approximate - you can use more or less of whatever you like!

                            For the meatloaf:
                            1 lb. ground beef
                            1 lb. hot italian sausage, casings removed
                            1 c. canned diced tomatoes
                            1 small onion, minced
                            6 cloves garlic, minced
                            3/4 c. pine nuts
                            1 c. bread crumbs (or crushed pork rinds for the low carb version)
                            1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
                            1/2 c. grated parmesan
                            2 eggs
                            salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes and herbs (fresh or dry basil, oregano, marjoram, thyme, parsley, etc.) to taste

                            For Filling:

                            15 oz. ricotta cheese
                            1 egg
                            1 c. shredded mozzarella
                            1/2 c. grated parmesan
                            salt, pepper and chopped fresh or dried parsley to taste

                            Mix all the meatloaf ingredients well and cook a pinch of the mixture in a skillet to taste for seasoning. Place 2/3 of mixture on a rimmed baking sheet (or in a roasting pan, however you like to cook your meatloaf - just make sure to use something that will contain the juices because this has a tendency to leak) and shape into a high-sided well (if you use an appropriately-sized casserole dish, you can sort of line the sides with the meat - however, this does result in all the juices remaining in the pan with the meatloaf and creates a more steamed texture than a larger pan would).

                            Combine all of the filling ingredients and mix well, then place in the meat well. Use the remaining 1/3 of the meatloaf mixture to cover the top of the filling, making sure to seal the seams very well. Poke a hole in the top of the meat so that steam can escape.

                            Roast at 375 degrees for about an hour and 15 minutes, covering with foil after 30 mins (or when you see the top getting too brown). Serve with marinara sauce (I usually use the rest of the can of diced tomatoes to make a quick homemade sauce). DELICIOUS, especially with homemade ricotta!

                        2. http://www.perrysplate.com/2010/08/ro...

                          I dug this recipe out of my archive for you Nate, it's heaven on a plate!

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: HillJ

                            That is possibly one of the most beautiful lasagna's I have ever seen, I had never thought o using squash like that. Do you or anyone else have experience with browning ricotta? It seems like most recipes need call for topping with Parmesan or mozzarella, but if I just put ricotta on top will it brown in the same manner?

                            1. re: NateStraus

                              It might depending on the heat element in your oven or a quick broil setting just at finish (nearly ready to take out of the oven). It was fried sage challenge that brought me to that specific lasagna recipe some time ago and it was just such a beautiful and delicious combination of flavors. One of those "sum of its parts" deals.

                            2. re: HillJ

                              This looks AMAZING - thank you for posting!

                              1. re: biondanonima

                                My pleasure and thank you for sharing your meatloaf recipe, biond.!

                            3. I add a spoon of goats milk ricotta to grits for breakfast. Nice and creamy, adds a little protein.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: meatn3

                                thank you!I love cheese with my grits, but hadn't thought of ricotta.

                              2. Lemon Ricotta cookies! These cakey cookies are delightful and are pretty simple to make. I especially like them frozen in the summertime.

                                http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/gi...

                                1. Scoop out the insides of a toasted bagel and fill with ricotta.

                                  I also like it plain, with a bit of honey drizzled on top. Yummm.

                                  1. Thank you for all the suggestions, there's a lot for me to try but I am sure I will get around to it.
                                    I was wondering if anyone has a good recipe for a super thin whole wheat pizza crust? I am going to make a couple ricotta pizzas, not sure with what on them (I'm always happy to take recommendations), but I have never made my own crust and whole wheat thin crusts are my favorite.