Ricotta six ways

I love ricotta cheese, simply for the fact that it forms a central component of some of my favorite sweet and savory dishes. So, in no particular order….

Ricotta cream

This simple recipe serves as a tasty and welcome alternative to the yoghurt and homemade peanut butter combo that seems to define my late afternoon visits to the kitchen. To make, mix together equal amounts of ricotta and plain Greek style yoghurt, add some cinnamon and a dash of maple syrup or honey, before topping off with some fresh berries and nuts, or even some homemade granola.

Ricotta hotcakes

Straight from the Bill Granger’s Sydney Food cookbook, these super light and airy hotcakes are a great way to start a long, lazy weekend. The original recipe suggests serving with honeycomb butter, but I’m usually more inclined to top them off with sliced banana, berries and some good quality Canadian maple syrup. You can find the recipe here featured on another food blog with far better pictures than mine😁

Ricotta hotcakes – a perfect way to start a long, lazy weekend

Ricotta Tart

I have the beautiful Yotam Ottolenghi cookbook Plenty More, which is full of wonderful looking salad and vegetable dishes…none of which I have ever made. I have however made another of his recipes, this ricotta tart, downloaded straight from the Internet! In place of the sundried tomatoes I typically sauté some cherry tomatoes and fresh or dried oregano/basil in olive oil for around 5-7 minutes, which I then blitz with a handheld blender. As the tart is quite rich, I usually serve it with one of my wife’s wonderful salads (not Yotam’s)😉.

Ricotta tart. Funny how all the pastry never quite makes it to the table😋

Ricotta pasta

Far from being “instagramable”, this is a great dish for when you want something quick, easy and healthy. To make, sauté some sliced onion, garlic and a handful of dried chilis, before adding some chopped roma tomatoes, sliced red capsicum and spinach. Just before the pasta is ready, add a 250g tub of ricotta, a handful of grated parmesan cheese, some pouring cream and grated pepper. Mix this sauce through the cooked pasta (I typically use rigatoni or penne) and serve with some extra parmesan cheese.

Ricotta gnocchi

Though I’m more than happy to be criticized for the way I pronounce it, I will be more than a little disappointed if a dinner party guest said they didn’t enjoy my ricotta gnocchi, based on the recipe in the The River Cafe Classic Italian Cookbook. You can find many similar recipes online, including this one.  I usually serve it with a rich butter and sage or slow cooked tomato sauce.

Ricotta gnocchi ready to go

Vegetarian lasagna

Ricotta forms the basis of most of vegetarian lasagna recipes that I’ve seen. In making mine, I layer the base of a baking pan with my version of the River Café’s slow cooked pasta sauce, then layer this with some fresh pasta, more sauce, ricotta and whatever vegetables I have on hand (roasted eggplant and sweet potato/pumpkin are some favorites). I repeat this process before layering the last lot of fresh pasta with the pasta sauce, ricotta, grated parmesan and some sliced buffalo mozzarella. If I’m feeling a little less energetic, I will use the gnocchi ricotta mix (minus the flour) to make cannelloni, which I top with the slow cooked pasta sauce and grated parmesan.

The finished product

The recipes listed above only scratch the surface of the many sweet and savory dishes that can be made using ricotta, including no doubt some hidden gems in any one of Mr Ottolenghi’s cookbooks 😁.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Geri Lawhon says:

    I also love ricotta. I very much like the idea of ricotta pancakes. Thank you for the recipes


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