Crusty Baked Shells & Cauliflower from Ina

    • Kosher salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 3/4 pound medium shells, such as Barilla
    • Good olive oil
    • 2 1/2 pounds cauliflower, cut into small florets (1 large head)
    • 3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh sage leaves
    • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
    • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
    • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
    • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    • 2 cups freshly grated Italian Fontina Val d’Aosta cheese, lightly packed (10 ounces with rind)
    • 1 cup (8 ounces) fresh ricotta
    • 1/2 cup panko (Japanese bread flakes)
    • 6 tablespoons freshly grated Italian Pecorino cheese
    • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves minced
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
  2. Fill a large pot with water, add 2 tablespoons of salt and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, according to the instructions on the package. Since it will be baked later, don’t overcook it! Drain and pour into a very large bowl.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large (12-inch) sauté pan over medium-high heat, add half of the cauliflower in one layer and sauté for 5 to 6 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the florets are lightly browned and tender. Pour the cauliflower, including the small bits, into the bowl with the pasta. Add 3 more tablespoons of olive oil to the sauté pan, add the remaining cauliflower, cook until browned and tender and add to the bowl.
  4. Add the sage, capers, garlic, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper to the bowl and stir carefully. Stir in the Fontina. Transfer half of the mixture to a 10 x 13 x 2–inch rectangular baking dish. Spoon rounded tablespoons of ricotta on the pasta and spoon the remaining pasta mixture on top. Combine the panko, Pecorino, parsley and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small bowl and sprinkle it evenly on top. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until browned and crusty on top. Serve hot.

Ricotta and Blueberry Cake Recipe By: EatGood4Life.com

IMG_0067download1 1/2 c flour
1 teaspoon aluminum free baking powder 1/2 teaspoon aluminum free baking soda 1/2 cup unrefined sugar + 2 tablespoons, you can use 3/4 cup if you like
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 organic eggs
1/4 cup low fat milk
Juice of two limes

1 to 1 1/2 cup fresh blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Grease and flour a springform pan and set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl, with a wire whisk, mix eggs, sugar, milk, lime juice and cheese. Add flour, baking soda and baking power.

3. Dust blueberries with 1 tablespoon of flour to prevent berries to sink to the bottom of the cake. Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle berries over batter.

4. Bake for 55-60 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before removing from the baking pan to cool completely on a wire rack.  Serving Size: 8

Shiitake Mushroom Tortellini w/ Soy Cream Sauce from thewoksoflife.com

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  • Olive oil
  • 6 oz. fresh shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup minced scallion
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flake
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 36-42 square wonton wrappers (1 pack should be enough)
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce

In a skillet over medium high heat, add a few good lugs of olive oil. Add the mushrooms and season with salt. Sauté the mushrooms until tender and caramelized. This could take a while, so don’t rush the process! Once the mushrooms are caramelized, you might have some sticky bits at the bottom of the pan. Deglaze with a bit of water.

Transfer the cooked mushrooms to a mixing bowl and add the scallion, crushed red pepper flake, Parmesan, ricotta cheese, egg, and salt and pepper to taste.

To assemble, use a bit of water to dampen the edges of each wonton wrapper, and add a teaspoon of filling to the middle.

Fold in half diagonally so you get a triangle. Make sure there aren’t any air bubbles in the middle, and that the edges are tightly sealed.

Bring the two farthest corners of the triangle together to make a pseudo “tortellini” shape. Continue assembling until you’ve run out of filling.

Bring a pot of water to a boil for the tortellini. In a skillet over medium heat, add a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Add the panko and stir constantly until golden. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add a couple tablespoons more oil to the skillet and add the garlic. Cook for 1 minute. Add the milk and cream, and bring to a simmer. Cook for 2 minutes and add the soy sauces. Season with pepper.

By now, the water for the ravioli should be boiling. Cook the ravioli in the boiling water for 20 seconds. With a slotted spoon, transfer the ravioli to the sauce and simmer for another 60-90 seconds.

Serve immediately, garnished with your panko pangrittata and more scallions.

 

Lemon-Ricotta Bars from food52

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For the Crust
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon lemon zest
3/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into 1-inch pieces, slightly softened plus extra for greasing pan

For Lemon-Ricotta Filling
8 oz (1 cup) fresh whole milk Ricotta, drained
4 large eggs, beaten
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons lemon zest
2/3 cup lemon juice from 3 to 4 large lemons, strained
1/4 teaspoon salt

To make the crust: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Using a pastry brush, lightly butter a 13-by-9-inch baking dish and line with one sheet parchment paper. Butter paper, then lay second sheet crosswise over it. Pulse flour, confectioner’s sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest and salt in food processor. Add butter and process to blend; then pulse until mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle mixture into lined pan and, press firmly with fingers into even layer over entire pan bottom and about 1/2-inch up sides. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, and then bake until light golden brown, about 20 minutes. To make the filling: Whisk ricotta, eggs, sugar, and flour in medium bowl, then stir in lemon zest, juice, and salt to blend well. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Stir filling mixture before pouring into warm crust. Bake until filling feels firm when touched lightly, about 30 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack; cool to room temperature, at least 2 hours. Transfer to cutting board, fold paper down, and cut into bars, wiping knife or pizza cutter clean between cuts. Dust with confectioner’s sugar.

Makes 18, 2-inches squares

 

Farro Risotto from Nigella Lawson

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  • 1/2 cup dried porcini
  • 1/2 cup recently boiled water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 leek (washed and trimmed), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 2 3/4 cups pearled farro (perlato)
  • 1/4 cup Marsala
  • 5 cups broth, vegetable, chicken, or porcini
  • 8 ounces crimini mushrooms
  • sliced leaves from a few sprigs of fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup ricotta
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, to serve

1. Cover the dried porcini with 1/2 cup of recently boiled water, then fill the kettle and put it on the heat again if you are making up the broth with concentrate, cube, or powder. In a wide, heavy saucepan (that comes with a lid) add 2 tablespoons of the oil and the fine jade tangle of leek, and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes or until the leeks are softened.

2. Drain the porcini, reserving the soaking liquid, then chop them and add them to the pan. Stir well, then add the farro and turn it gently but thoroughly in the pan. Tip in the Marsala and porcini-soaking water and let it bubble up.

3. Make up the broth as wished and add this to the farro pan, stir, bring to a boil, and then clamp on a lid, turn down the heat, and let it cook at a simmer for 30 minutes, until the farro is cooked and all the liquid absorbed.

4. While the farro is cooking, warm the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a medium-sized frying pan and cook the sliced crimini mushrooms for about 5 minutes or until they begin to soften (they will first seem alarmingly dry) at which point add the thyme, grate in (or mince and add) the garlic, and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the mushrooms are juicy and soft. Remove from the heat if there is still time on the clock for the farro. Once the farro is cooked, take it off the heat, too, and add the cooked mushrooms. Stir in the ricotta and Parmesan (they will melt in the heat of the farro) until the farro is creamy, then sprinkle with parsley and serve.

 

Cheesy Kale Sweet Potato Tart from the woks of life

IMG_2491For the pastry:
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 stick cold butter, cut into small cubes
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon cold water
For the filling:
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup finely chopped leeks
1 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 small sweet potato
2 sprigs fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
1 cup ricotta
1/2 cup shredded cheese (gruyere, aged cheddar, or manchego work great for this)

 NOTE: very good baked in pie plate without crust

Start by making the crust. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or two knives until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Whisk together the egg yolk and water, and add it to the flour mixture. Mix everything together with a fork until the dough comes together. Flatten into a disk, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least an hour. Take out of the refrigerator about a few minutes before you’re ready to roll it out.

Roll out the dough and fit it to your tart pan. You may have to patch it up a bit, but don’t worry, it’ll turn out great. Pierce the dough all over with a fork and place the tart shell in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped leeks and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the kale, crushed red pepper flakes, and a couple drizzles of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for another couple minutes, just until the kale is wilted. Remove from the heat.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (210 degrees C). Blind bake the tart shell for 10 minutes, and remove from the oven. If you see it starting to puff up at all, poke the dough with a fork again!

Prep your potato by peeling it and slicing it paper-thin. A mandolin helps, but a sharp knife will do the job. Add the thyme and ricotta to the kale mixture. Place a layer of sweet potato slices in the bottom of the tart shell. Spread the kale and cheese mixture evenly over that, and top with another layer of sweet potato slices. Brush the top thoroughly with olive oil and sprinkle the cheese over the tart. Bake for about 20 minutes, until golden brown.

Neely Veggie Pesto Lasagna

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2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 yellow squash, diced
1 zucchini, diced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
Pinch of sugar, optional
1 (15-ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese
1 (16-ounce) bag frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
7 ounces store-bought pesto
1 box no-boil lasagna noodles
2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Fresh basil, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the yellow squash and zucchini and cook, stirring, for 4 to 5 minutes more. Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Stir in the crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce; bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Add salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar, if necessary.

In a large bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, spinach, pesto and season with pepper.

Grease the bottom and sides of your lasagna dish with butter. Spread a little of the tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan. Lay 4 noodles across the bottom of the baking dish, overlapping by 1/2-inch. Spread 1/3 of the ricotta and pesto mixture evenly on top. Sprinkle with about a 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. Ladle about 1 cup of sauce on top. Repeat layering in the same order. Layer the top layer of noodles and drizzle with the remaining sauce, then sprinkle with the Parmesan and remaining mozzarella. Cover with foil and bake in the center of the oven until the sauce is bubbling around the edges, about 40 minutes. Uncover and bake 5 minutes more. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

Adult Grilled Cheese: AKA GetInMyBelly inspired by Joy the Baker

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Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat with: 1 Tbs. olive oil
Slice into half-moons: 2 large onions

Add the onions to the skillet with:
1 Tbs. butter
1 Tbs. olive oil
2 tsp. salt

Cook the onions on medium heat for about 20 minutes, yes, 20. Patience. You want them to be really soft and golden brown (turn down to medium-low if they start to brown too quickly). Set aside until all your ingredients are ready to go.

In another skillet on high heat, sauté until dark brown and soft (set aside when done):
1 pint cherry tomatoes
Salt and pepper
1 tsp. olive oil

In a small bowl, mix together:
¾ c. part-skim ricotta cheese
3 Tbs. chopped fresh basil
1/3 c. chopped spinach
Salt and pepper to taste

Slice and butter one side of good crusty bread.
Salted butter, softened
12 slices of bread

To assemble the sammies, spread a spoonful of the ricotta mixture on the unbuttered side of each slice of bread. Sprinkle on one side:
1 Tbs. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Thinly sliced fresh mozzarella to cover the bread in one layer

Top with some of the roasted tomatoes and caramelized onions. Close the sandwich up with your other piece of bread and brown the sandwich in a skillet on medium heat for about 3 minutes on each side, or until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melty. Makes 6 sammies. Serve hot and enjoy!!!

 

Diana Kennedy’s Scrambled Ricotta (Requesón Revuelto a La Mexicana)

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  • 2 1/2 cups firmly packed ricotta cheese
  • 4 tablespoons safflower oil (or other neutral oil)
  • Heaped 1/3 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 4 or 5 ( or to taste) chiles serranos, finely chopped (remove some or all of the seeds and white ribs if you want to make it less spicy)
  • 1 1/4 cup finely chopped, unpeeled tomatoes
  • Heaped 1/2 teaspoon (or to taste) sea salt
  1. Note: The ricotta should be well-drained, almost dry (or else it will take longer to cook down). If it is not, drain it in a fine mesh strainer lined with a piece of cheesecloth or a coffee filter to get rid of extra moisture, then spread it out to dry a little before using it.
  2. When you’re ready to cook, heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onion and fresh chiles, and fry gently without browning for 1 minute.
  3. Add the tomatoes and continue cooking over high heat, stirring from time to time until the mixture is fairly dry — about 4 minutes.
  4. Add the ricotta and salt and mix well. Cook over medium heat until it begins to turn a light creamy color and is no longer liquid: when turned with a spoon it should come away cleanly from the surface of the pan, about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on how well you’ve drained your ricotta. Serve immediately with corn tortillas.