Paola's Baked Ricotta Recipe
Paola, with whom I correspond regularly and who is a self-confessed ricotta fanatic as well as an avid Culture supporter, recently sent me this lovely sounding recipe for a Sweet Baked Ricotta Flavored with Lemon.
According to Paola, there are two versions. One (per the recipe below) is sweet and similar to a cheesecake but without the pastry crust. This is best eaten cold.
Another version is for savory use and eaten with fresh vegetables or ratatouille. With the savory version, omit the sugar and substitute salt to taste - NOT 3.5 oz! - and, if you wish, add some herbs or spices, again to taste. This version is best served at room temperature.
SWEET BAKED RICOTTA RECIPE WITH LEMON
(This recipe uses eggs, which give a more compact consistency. For a lighter version, omit the eggs.)
1 pound ricotta, broken up with a fork
100 g of granulated sugar (3.5 oz) or to personal taste
Grated lemon zest from 1 big lemon untreated (avoiding the white part as it is too bitter), alternatively you can use the juice of 1 lemon or orange depending on personal taste
Few drops of vanilla extract (optional)
Few raisins, candied fruit or chocolate bits (optional)
1 tablespoon potato starch
Beat egg yolks with sugar and add ricotta, lemon zest and potato starch.
Whip egg whites and mix gently to the rest, transfer in a mold greased with butter and sprinkled with some sugar.
Bake at 350-380 F for 45 min to 1 hour - basically until it becomes dark and forms a crust.
With summer around the corner, I'm going to give this a try.