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easy-to-make homemade ricotta

easy to make, homemade ricotta cheeseIt all began with a bag of shelled green peas.  I was thinking sautéed spring vegetables with pasta; the Italians call it primavera.  But, I did not want to use traditional pasta such as linguine, penne, or tagliatelle.  And, I had a yearning for some sort of fresh sauce, too, in lieu of a creamy one.  The bag of peas held the answer to my quest.  Continue Reading →

Baked Ricotta Dip

baked ricotta dip by The Culinary ChaseFall might be just around the corner but this is a recipe that knows no seasons.  Ricotta is an Italian cheese that is made from the leftover milk whey from cheese and the name in Italian means recooked.  Ricotta cheese is so versatile. It’s perfect in savoury and sweet dishes. I’ve used it in lasagnas, gnocchi, cheesecake, on a tomato crostini, tossed in pasta, manicotti, ricotta dumplings, frittata, cavatelli with sausage, and made my own ricotta which was fun and delicious.  Baked ricotta dip is super easy to make and is perfect for those who pop by your home unexpectedly.  Want more inspiration? Visit Bon Appétit and learn 12 Ways to Cook with Ricotta Cheese.

Serves 4 to 6
15 oz. ricotta
3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt and pepper
lemon zest
1 to 2 cloves of garlic, minced
pinch of chili pepper flakes
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped (can also use fresh oregano)

ricotta photo by The Culinary ChasePreheat oven to 375f. Combine all ingredients until well incorporated. Place in an ovenproof dish and bake 15 minutes until top is bubbling and starting to brown. You may want to place it under the broiler to brown more but that’s up to you.  Remove from oven and serve with chunks of fresh Italian bread or grilled bread slices (crostini) and tapenade.

The Culinary Chase’s Note: If the ricotta is fresh, you may have to strain off the liquid by using a cheesecloth.  Add grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese if you like.  Enjoy!