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Tag: ricotta

They’re Here!

How I’ve missed you, Squash Blossoms. Check out what I made after the jump.

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FMC: Easy Rider Here…

Well, I didn’t challenge myself all that much with this latest, er, challenge. Yes, I made a garlic scape pesto.

Lazy, mostdefinitely. Tasty? Well, let’s say, pungent. Scapes are rather intense, a pure, single shot of garlic right to the back of the tongue. An I.E.D., if you will, for the cast of True Blood.  A tiny bit goes the distance. I liked Luke’s instinct of cooking and incorporating them into an Asian dish. Eh, kudos to Luke for thinking this one through. He rose to  the “challenge” and I opted to phone this one in. I mean, who do I think I am? Mark Bittman?

Love you, Mark. Mean it, Mark.

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Heavenly Ricotta

Ricotta Cheese Pound Cake

I grew up with a deep affection for ricotta cheese, the ‘re-cooked’ byproduct of cheese production.

Wow, doesn’t that sound tasty.

We’ve all had ricotta in things like cannoli, ravioli, and manicotti, but these products are often made with heavily processed, solidified, xanthan gum-injected, astronaut-sealed packaged crap. Not the soft, delicately sublime curds of a fresh, artisanal ricotta.

So, the good stuff. Ricotta is traditionally used in desserts like cannoli, though a handsome dollop of fresh ricotta placed on a fresh mound of pasta is a stunning indulgence.

I’ve never baked with ricotta in a dessert–remember, cannoli filling is not cooked–but this cake caught my eye. It just sounded, well, good. The fact that this is from the kitchen of the endlessly-excellent Babbo Restaurant was, admittedly, also a big selling point for me.

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Pronounced, “A Ma Trish E Ah Na!”


Pasta all’amatriciana is one of my winter fallbacks.  It’s classic Roman comfort food. A bacon tomato sauce? Bring it!

It is often made with guanciale (pork jowels) but pancetta or any high-quality American bacon will do. I made this dish on Christmas Day for my family after we unwrapped presents. My father loves when I make pasta, constantly shadowing me as I pull the pasta from the boiling water (salted as heavily as the sea) two minutes before the package says it should be served, tossing it with a bit of the sauce in the saucepan to marry the noodle and condiment. Remember, the noodle is the star. Use the sauce sparingly. Never flood your pasta bowl with ladle after ladle of sauce. For some creaminess, I added a dollop of fresh ricotta and a nice drizzle of some good-quality olive oil.

Recipe after the jump. Read more

Crostini or Bruschetta?

Cherry Tomato CrostiniI am a massive fan of bruschetta.

Anything that involves grilling slices of bread, rubbing them with a raw garlic clove, and finishing with fresh, seasonal ingredients followed by a glug of tasty olive oil, I swoon. I first became greatly enamored with bruschetta courtesy of the ladies at London’s River Cafe most notably their first cookbook which features gorgeous,  rustic Italian recipes.

Included in this book are several pages of an endless array of  varying bruschetta pictures, such as tender asparagus with shaved Parmesan. The visuals are stunning and will leave you with plenty of inspiration.

A week ago, I was leafing through my copy of David Tanis’ indispensible book, “A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes” and happened upon the following recipe for a cherry tomato crostini with ricotta.

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