Ricotta Pie

A savory ricotta “pie” with eggs, sour cream and parmesan cheese topped with roasted Roma tomatoes.

Calling this a pie is kind of deceptive. It’s more casserole than pie. There’s no crust. And it’s not sweet – the first thing I think when I hear the word pie…. 

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Ricotta Cheese Meatballs

Like a lightening bolt from the sky I suddenly had a silly idea to try some new recipes for meatballs. From famous chefs.

I say silly because there’s nothing wrong with my original, the ones I’ve made. . . like. . . forever. The issue is forever. Nothing is forever. Not even meatballs.

Soon after this revelation Michael Symon made ricotta meatballs on The Chew. … 

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Ricotta and Swiss Chard Pasta

Pappardelle noodles tossed in a creamy ricotta sauce with Swiss chard and salty Parmesan. When I don’t know what to make for dinner I turn to pasta dishes like this with a few simple ingredients and minimal prep and cooking time. Even though the ingredients seem simple, altogether they are something special…. 

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Baked Three Cheese Lemon Pepper Pasta

I have a new love in my life. You might know him.

He goes by the name Lemon Pepper.

Not the fake imposter. The one premixed in a plastic shaker at the market.

I’m talking the real deal. As in fresh lemon meet my pepper mill…. 

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Cassata Cake

One would think growing up in an Italian-American family that the cassata cake would of graced our dessert table as often as the dear cannoli, but it did not. I can’t recall one time ever eating it and wasn’t even sure what it was…a sad tale to tell that’s entirely true.

I know now that it is typically made with a sponge cake, filled with sweetened ricotta cheese and then covered in a glaze…. 

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Lemon Ricotta Penne with Yellow Squash

Lemon Ricotta Penne with Yellow Squash

This is a fast and delicious recipe for penne dressed up in a zingy lemon ricotta sauce and tossed with smoky yellow squash. It requires minimal ingredients and with fast chopping skills can be on the table in a half hour or less.

Squash slices are quickly cooked under the broiler while the pasta cooks and the sauce is whisked together using ricotta, lemon zest and juice along with a little pasta water.

Lemon Ricotta Penne with Yellow Squash

Short on time…Simple to make…But big on taste with lemon being the stand-out flavor. The milky ricotta balances out the tartness so it won’t make you pucker! But it will make you smile…it’s like sunshine on a plate.

Lemon Ricotta Penne with Yellow Squash

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Lemon Ricotta Penne with Yellow Squash
(by Reeni)(Serves 4)
2 Yellow Squash, peeled and sliced into rounds*
Olive oil
Sea Salt and Black Pepper
8 ounces Penne Pasta (like Barila Whole Grain)
1 cup Ricotta Cheese
1 Lemon, zested and juiced
1/2 cup Pasta water
Fresh Basil, chopped, for serving
Parmesan Cheese, for serving
1. Heat broiler. On a large baking pan spread out squash. Lightly drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil on second closest rack to broiler. Keep a close eye on them, checking every minute or so. When they are browned remove pan and turn slices. Return to broiler until browned.
2. Meanwhile cook the penne in plenty of salted water to al dente according to package directions. In a medium mixing bowl whisk ricotta with lemon peel and juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Slowly whisk in the pasta water.
3. In a large bowl toss the penne with the ricotta mixture, add squash and toss again. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with basil. Serve with Parmesan cheese.
* Slice as thick as you like. I like them them on the thin side – about 1/3 inch thick.

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Lemon Ricotta Penne with Yellow Squash

Keep your dishes for the July Showdown coming – add your links here!

I’m sending this to Presto Pasta Nights hosted by Daphne of More Than Words this week.

I’m also linking to this to Two For Tuesdays: Celebrate Real Food hosted by Heather over at Girlichef.

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Ravioli Gnudi with Walnut Sauce

Ravioli Gnudi with Sage Walnut Sauce

Ravioli Gnudi are ravioli without the wrapper. Just the filling is used. Gnudi is Italian for nude. These are also called malfatti which is Italian for ‘badly made’ and may be a reference to filling that falls out of the ravioli wrapper when cooked.

The Gnudi are made by combining spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, eggs, nutmeg and a little bit of flour to hold them together. The mixture is refrigerated and them formed into ‘dumplings’ and refrigerated again for a short time. They are a breeze to cook, as easy as cooking fresh pasta. But they are fragile and need to be handled carefully. I was pretty certain they would fall apart when I cooked them. Or disintegrate. The secret is to cook them at a very slow simmer, not a hard boil, and drain them as soon as they rise to the top.

The hardest part of making them is forming them. Their very soft and fussy. And refuse to keep their shape. Don’t even bother trying to make them all uniform. It’s a nearly impossible task. And a messy one. Noone will notice once you douse them with sauce. Just call them rustic.

Being the curious creature I am I also pan fried some in a mix of olive oil and butter. I made this batch a little bigger in size. They browned up nicely and were denser in texture. But I prefer the boiling method for taste and ease. All this did was make an even bigger mess in my kitchen.

Ravioli Gnudi with Sage Walnut Sauce

I’ve seen these compared to gnochhi but if anything their the complete opposite. Gnocchi are dense and heavy. At least the ones I’ve had. These are light and fluffy like clouds. Little pillows that melt in your mouth. And with the flavors of the creamy sage and walnut sauce completely delicious.

The sauce can be made three different ways: with sage and without walnuts, with walnuts and without sage or with both walnuts and sage. A brown butter and sage sauce would be equally good. Or even a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and Parmesan. Or butter and Parmesan. And of course with a traditional tomato sauce if that’s what you prefer.

Ravioli Gnudi with Sage Walnut Sauce

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Gnudi (Serves 6)
(adapted from Giada De Laurentiss)
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1 pound frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 cup Parmesan, grated
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus 1 cup for coating
Sage Walnut sauce or Tomato sauce,  for serving
1. In a large bowl, mix ricotta, spinach, Parmesan cheese, eggs, and yolks. Stir in nutmeg, salt, pepper, and flour. Refrigerate for a 1/2 to 1 hour.
2. Form mixture into small, flattened balls using a heaping teaspoon of mixture. If mixture is too loose mix in additional flour a tablespoon at a time until it is easier to work with. Mixture should still be pretty soft. Dredge the formed gnudi in flour to coat, tapping off the excess. Refrigerate for a 1/2 hour.
3. Bring a large saucepan of water to a slow simmer. Slide formed gnudi into the boiling water.
Be careful not to overcrowd the pan; work in batches if necessary. Remove the gnudi using a slotted spoon after they float to the top and have cooked for about 4 minutes.
4. Arrange gnudi on a platter and lightly drizzle with sage walnut sauce or tomato sauce.
Sage Walnut Sauce
(adapted from 365 Easy Italian Recipes)
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
3 heaping tablespoons Onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 fresh Sage leaves, chopped, optional
1 cup Whole Milk
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
1 cup Walnuts, coarsely chopped, optional
fresh Black Pepper
1. Add oil to a large skillet over medium-low heat and saute onion until tender. Add garlic and sage, if using. When garlic is fragrant add milk and cream. Bring to a simmer and cook 3 to 4 minutes.
2. Add Parmesan and season with Black Pepper. Turn off heat. Mix in walnuts if desired.

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Ravioli Gnudi with Sage Walnut Sauce

Don’t forget to enter my Second Anniversary Cupcake Lover’s Giveaway!

I’m sending this to the lovely Pam of Sidewalk Shoes the host of Presto Pasta Nights this week, an event founded by Ruth of Once Upon A Feast.

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Blueberry Ricotta Crepes

Something Borrowed, Something Blue…Blogger Secret Ingredient

Heather of girlichef has passed the BSI (Blogger Secret Ingredient) torch on to me this week. I’m excited because this couldn’t have come at a better time. My favorite fruit is in season right now! Something borrowed something blue. . . berries! Sweet, plump, juicy blueberries. The super fruit. I could eat them for breakfast, lunch, dinner and all the moments in between…. 

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