Thursday, January 27, 2011

Farmhouse Baked Ricotta



Yes, yes, I live in the city. But sometimes I imagine myself in an alternate universe - where Robbie and I have a farm and grow things and raise animals, and where Nelle collects eggs every morning and gets muddy on a regular basis. And where I can bear to be more than a kilometer from a good coffee shop. 

Of course, I want everything. So, we live our urban lives (with all cafe-related happinesses) ... and take holidays in more rustic places. Like farms. And cabins. With fireplaces. Ahhhh ...

But urban girls (like me) can channel their inner Granny - and what was Granny all about? Frugal living. Not wasting. Baking and cooking with love.

Yep, I can do that! Dare I say it? Yee-haw!

I think ricotta must be one of the most thrown-out of fridge items ... we buy it (or make it) for a lasagne and then ... oops. But ricotta makes the loveliest tarty-things! Perfect for lunch with a whole host of different  toppings to choose from. 

Imagine how nice it would be to come in from a morning of hard work (in the fields? or the supermarket?) to one of these ...


************
Farmhouse Baked Ricotta
serves 4-6
Adapted from Donna Hay Magazine

The time
10-15 min prep + 20-30 min baking

The ingredients
The tarts
500g ricotta
120g pecorino (or another sharp, hard cheese), grated
1-2  sweet potatoes, thinly sliced

Herb sauce
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
2 handfuls basil leaves, washed and patted dry
1 Tbs lemon rind (or 1 tsp dried)

*Try to use organic ingredients when you can

The process
1. Preheat the oven to 200C (400F). Line 12 muffin cups with baking paper. Don't worry about them looking perfect!

2. Mix the ricotta with 1/2 the pecorino.

3. Basically, each tart will consist of 3 layers - cheese then sweet potato then cheese. Fill each baking-paper-lined cup with the layered mixture.

4. When you're done making the layers, top the tarts with the remaining pecorino.

5. Bake for 20-30 min, until the tops are golden and puffed. Then remove, and set aside.

6. Meanwhile, put all the sauce ingredients in a blender and whizz till smooth.

7. Let the tarts cool slightly before removing them from their baking paper shells. Or serve them in the baking paper ... they look pretty cute that way.

Enjoy with the herb sauce (or a derivation of ... feel free to substitute other herbs!) or tomato ketchup or chutney ...

The cost
Well, if you're using up ricotta (or you've made some yourself, on the cheap) this family-sized dinner will set you back $7 - $8. And that's for all-organic! 


Nice work, Granny.
Amanda xx

10 comments:

Laura said... [Reply to comment]

Sounds great! I can't wait to try this! I try to use ricotta as much as I can when I've got in on hand (usually after making lasagna) but I've never baked it... I have a feeling I'll be in for a real treat. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

Amanda @ Easy Peasy Organic said... [Reply to comment]

@Laura Laura - you can do so many different things with this! Try almost any veggies you have that need using up .. just roast them or put them in straight, depending :)

Erika said... [Reply to comment]

This is not a dish I would normally even think of cooking, but sounds good! From the photo, I thought it might be "egg-y", but then I realized it's just cheesy goodness! For some reason I think these would be delicious with a little sausage as that middle layer :)

Amanda @ Easy Peasy Organic said... [Reply to comment]

@Erika Cheesy. Goodness.

Nicole Franzen said... [Reply to comment]

yum! and love the cow photos

The Happy Hippy said... [Reply to comment]

These look and sound fab! I do exactly as you describe, I buy a tub of ricotta for one dish and then end up with the rest going in the bin...usually after many weeks in the fridge!! Love you blog : )

andrée said... [Reply to comment]

Hello Amanda

I really enjoy your recipe's I am actually doing the farmhouse baked ricotta puffs. It turned out to be only 3 large muffin cups, I did 1/2 the actual recipe. Does this sound ok or I din't put enough in the baking papers ?
Thank you
Andrée (from Montréal )

Amanda @ Easy Peasy Organic said... [Reply to comment]

Hi Andree - sounds like you have a larger 'large' muffin tin than I do! My 'large' muffins/tarts are 3 inches across the top and are pretty shallow. If your muffin tin is larger, you'll just need to adjust the cooking time slightly. Hope you enjoyed them :)

Joy said... [Reply to comment]

This recipe had me dreaming of cheese-y goodness for weeks! I made a few changes and shared the recipe on my blog with a link back to you. http://apassionateplate.com/baked-ricotta/ Thanks for sharing!!!

rosemaryq said... [Reply to comment]

This looks delicious. A question: Do you cook the sweet potatoes first? It doesn't seem like it would be enough time if you put them into the layers uncooked...thanks! Rosemary

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Thanks for commenting! Amandaxx

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