Ricotta Cheese Recipes

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Beet Napoleon with Green Peas and Ricotta Cheese (Mille-Feuille de Betterave et Petits Pois) Recipe

This savory Napoleon dish is heavily inspired by my childhood BFF's homecook expert a.k.a her husband Olivier. They came to visit us in the Bay Area right before we came visiting them in their new Parisian apartment last night. Olivier briefly told me about his savory creation which he calls "mille-feuille de betterave et petits pois" (literally "beet and green pea napoleon") in French. He went on to explain that he prepared green pea-flavored ricotta cheese filling in between thinly-sliced beet layers. I interprated my own version as I didn't have detailed instructions and added phyllo dough as a nice contrast in texture. I also added basil and ground cumin to the ricotta for extra flavor. For additional color, I garnished the first course dish with colorful vegetables from our garden: freshly-picked radishes, bell peppers and cherry tomatoes. I'm not sure Olivier was aiming for the same result but what I can assure you is it was delicious. 

I can't believe my European trip is coming to an end already. I''ll be heading home soon for more book signing appearances. My next ones are taking place at Barnes and Noble. Please mark your calendar if you're in the Bay Area and be sure to stop by Barnes and Noble Blossom Hill, 5353 Almaden Expressway, Building B in San Jose, California. I'll be doing a cooking demo, followed by a book signing on July 5th at noon.


 


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Bresaola and Cucumber Finger Sandwiches Recipe

These charming finger sandwiches were probably the only thing I could have prepared in the tiny kitchen of the Roman apartment we rented while in the capital city of Italy last week. But it didn't stop me for preparing yummy sandwiches for Aria and me, using local products such as ricotta pannarella and black Angus bresaola meat.

Bresaola is salted lean and succulent beef that is air-dried until the meat turns dark red. It originated from the Lombardy region in Northern Italy. And I first discovered out-of-this-world ricotta pannarella while ordering a cheese platter in a restaurant in Rome. We asked the waiter to give us his best selection and I have to admit it sure was!  Now I'm just hoping I'll be able to find some back in the US!

I prepared the finger sandwiches with crust-free, sliced white bread, a mixture of caramelized fennel and ricotta, sliced cucumbers and of course, freshly-made mozzarella cheese and delicious bresaola meat. 


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Bell Pepper Ricotta Pesto Tart Recipe Recipe

This is the type of light meal I love for lunch. It's satisfying, filled with vegetables and it's a one-dish meal, which means less cleanup! The tart is flavored with red and yellow bell peppers combined with ricotta and Parmesan cheeses, onions, tomato paste, chili flakes and fresh oregano. To complete the dish, I topped the savory tart with mixed greens and flavorful dressing.

You can use the same bell pepper ricotta pesto to flavor your favorite pasta, grilled meats, risotto or sandwiches.


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Duck Confit and Morel Mushroom Ravioli Filling Recipe Recipe

I went through my pantry and freezer and thought it was time to do a little spring cleaning. I decided to make ravioli and filled them with the duck confit I had in the freezer, along with ricotta cheese, Pecorino cheese, cider, apples, morel mushrooms and tarragon. 

I ended up making two large batches of the homemade pasta: one vegetarian and one with the shredded duck inside. My preference leans toward the meat version, but my husband Lulu who's a vegetarian enjoyed the other version as much as I did!


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Zucchini Tart Recipe (Tarte aux Courgettes) Recipe

Savory tart is a very versatile dish. The crust is usually puff pastry, a sauce serves as the filling and the topping is roasted or grilled vegetables. I made pesto using goat ricotta cheese and topped the tart with zucchini. Once you choose your favorite flavorings, you can come up with your own combinations for the pesto sauce, cheeses and vegetables.

Zucchini is a relatively easy vegetable to plant from seeds. My husband Lulu's uncle grew humongous 18-inch zucchini in his garden. Ratatouille would have been a great way to make great use of the veggie but I really wanted to showcase the size of the slices in a tart.


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