3 Ricotta Recipes For Your Next Dinner Party

3 Ricotta Recipes For Your Next Dinner Party

Ricotta (a soft white, unsalted cheese) is made from the curds leftover after cooking milk, and separating it into curds and whey. Our food team dishes up fresh spring ricotta recipes for your next dinner party

SPINACH AND RICOTTA GNUDI WITH BURNT BUTTER AND SAGE
Prep time 55 minutes
Cooking time 15 minutes
Serves 4, as a starter

INGREDIENTS
For the gnudi
3 cups baby spinach
¼ cup basil
1½ cups smooth ricotta
1 egg
1 egg yolk
cup flour
¼ tsp nutmeg
2 tbsp + ¼ cup Parmesan, grated
cup semolina flour
For the burnt-butter sauce
cup butter
2 cloves garlic, sliced
12 fresh sage leaves

METHOD
For the gnudi
1. Place the spinach and basil in a large bowl and microwave for 30 seconds until just wilted. Transfer to a food processor and blend until smooth.
2. In a large bowl, whisk the ricotta and eggs until smooth. Add the flour, nutmeg and 2 tbsp Parmesan and stir until combined, then fold in the spinach and basil.
3. Line a tray with cup semolina flour and set aside. Place the remaining semolina on a plate and, with your hands, shape the gnudi into medium-sized balls. Roll them in more semolina flour before placing on the tray.
4. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
5. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Gently place the gnudi in the boiling water, working in batches, and cook for 2–3 minutes or until they rise to the surface. Drain and set aside.
6. Preheat a stove plate to high. Sprinkle the gnudi with the remaining Parmesan and grill for 3–5 minutes until just browned.
For the burnt-butter sauce
1. Melt the butter in a pan over low heat then add the garlic and fry until golden brown.
2. Add the sage leaves and stir for 1–2 minutes or until the butter is bubbling and turns golden. Add the gnudi and toss.
3. To serve, spoon into bowls and pour over some sauce. Top with ground black pepper.

ROASTED RED PEPPERS WITH RICOTTA, PESTO AND WALNUTS
Prep time 10 minutes
Cooking time 15 minutes
Serves 6

INGREDIENTS
3 red peppers, halved and
seeds removed
1 tbsp oil
2 cups baby tomatoes
1 cup fresh ricotta
¼ cup walnuts, chopped
1 cup rocket
cup basil pesto

METHOD
1. Preheat the oven to 230ºC and place the peppers on a tray, cut side down. Drizzle the oil over the skins and roast for 8 minutes, or until the skins start to blacken.
2. Turn the peppers over and roast until cooked, about 5 more minutes.
3. Remove from the oven and place, cut side up, on a large serving plate.
4. Fill each halved pepper with baby tomatoes, pieces of ricotta, chopped walnuts and rocket, and drizzle over the pesto.

BLUEBERRY AND RICOTTA PIE
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Serves 6–8

INGREDIENTS
For the crust
2¼ cups flour
3 tbsp cornflour
¼ tsp salt
1 cup butter, cut into cubes
¼ cup cold water
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp lemon juice
For the filling
4 cups blueberries
5 tbsp cornflour
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
½ lemon, zested and juiced
¼ cup smooth ricotta
For the topping
1 egg, beaten

METHOD
1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC and grease a 36 × 13 cm rectangular pie dish.
For the crust
1. In a bowl, mix the flours and salt together. Using your fingertips, rub in the butter until the mix resembles coarse bread crumbs.
2. Make a well in the centre of the flour and add the water, egg and lemon juice. Slowly incorporate the flour into the centre and mix until a soft dough forms. Cover the dough in cling film and refrigerate.
For the filling
1. Mix the blueberries, cornflour, sugar, vanilla essence, lemon zest and juice together.
2. Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out on a well-floured surface to form a cm-thick rectangle.
3. Lay the dough over the greased pie dish and gently press down in the corners. Trim the excess dough until it slightly overlaps the dish and pinch the edges.
4. Line the dough with baking paper and fill with baking beans or dried rice. Blind bake the pie crust for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool slightly.
5. Spread the ricotta evenly over the crust and top with the blueberry filling.
6. Roll the excess dough out, cut into strips and place in diagonals across the filling.
For the topping
1. Brush the top of the crust with a beaten egg and bake the pie for 30-35 minutes until golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
2. To serve, allow to cool slightly before cutting into slices.

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