ORGANIC LOCAL RICOTTA CHEESE + ORGANIC VEGGIES FROM EARLS = BEST ORGANIC VEGGIE RICOTTA LASAGNA!

March 6th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink


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Enjoy this recipe inspired by the connection  two organic and sustainable food folks have made!

Ingredients

Olive oil
4 cloves organic garlic, chopped fine
2 medium organic yellow, onions, chopped small
2 medium organic carrots, chopped small
2 medium organic green zucchini, chopped small
1 cup organic broccoli florets, cut super small
8 medium organic plum tomatoes, chopped small
¼ cup fresh organic basil, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved)
2 tablespoons fresh organic parsley, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved)
2 tablespoons fresh organic marjoram, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved)
2 tablespoons fresh organic oregano, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved)
2 cups organic tomato sauce, canned
½ cup organic red table wine
Salt/pepper
Lasagna noodles (cooked or fresh)
4 cups fresh  organic spinach
3 cups  fresh ricotta (Bellwether Farms Whole Milk Jersey Ricotta)
2 eggs
2 teaspoons freshly ground nutmeg
1 ½ cups parmesan cheese, grated
1 cups fresh mozzarella, sliced thin

Directions

In a large soup pot, over medium high heat, add oil. Cook onions and garlic until soft and translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add carrots and cook for a few more minutes. Add the zucchini, broccoli and sauté a few more minutes.  Next add the tomatoes and reduce heat to a medium simmer. Add the fresh herbs (making sure to reserve some for the end).  Allow to cook about twenty minutes, cooking down the tomatoes.  Add the tomato sauce and red wine, and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Take off heat and allow to cool a bit before assembling lasagna.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a mixing bowl combine the ricotta, nut meg and eggs and mix well.

In a large casserole dish, place a layer of lasagna noodles (cooked or fresh) down first, then spread a little sauce over the noodle. Add a layer of fresh spinach and then

gently spoon some of the ricotta mixture over the spinach (small dollops, over the layer about 1-1/2 inches apart.  Add a thin layer of warm sauce, making sure to move it around and melt the ricotta, making the layer even and consistent in sauce and ricotta.  Sprinkle a layer of parmesan cheese on top of the tomato sauce layer. Repeat the steps and make about 3-4 layers.  For the top, add a layer of noodles and a “glossing of sauce” just to moisten the noodles.  Cover with fresh slices of mozzarella and the reaming chopped fresh herbs.  Then sprinkle it with a thin layer of the grated parmesan.  Season with salt and pepper again.

Place lasagna in the oven and bake for about 45-60 minutes or until the top is crusty and lightly brown. Allow the lasagna to sit and rest about 20-30  minutes before serving. ( this will settled the lasagna and make cutting and serving easier!

Featured Earls Organic Growers: Covilli Zucchini, Jacobs Farms Herbs, La Colline Broccoli, Earthbound Farms Spinach

Earls Organic Produce, promotes organic agriculture and sustainable food trade while cultivating enduring partnerships with growers, producers and customers alike. Earls seeks to educate, excite and evoke passion for the organic culture and continually evolve.  An authentic passion for food and pure, fertile soil together fostered what has become the leading regional distributor of organic produce in the San Francisco Bay area, connecting like minded food conscious folks.

Bellwether Farms, located in the rolling hills of the Sonoma County Coast, the farm is located a few miles from the ocean, near Tamales & Bodega Bays.  The region is well known for mild temperatures and coastal fog.  With the absence of any heat stresses, the region is quintessential in it’s Shangri-La conditions for making exemplary cheese!

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Parsley & Lemon – Ricotta Cupcakes

May 19th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

muffin

Makes 6 large cupcakes

Ingredients

2 cups all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup turbinado sugar
3 tablespoons lemon zest
3 tablespoons chopped fine, parsley
1 stick butter ( salted) softened
¾ cup ricotta cheese
1 egg
juice of three lemons

Directions

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Sift or mix together the dry ingredients, flour, baking powder and soda and salt, in a medium size-mixing bowl.  In another medium sized bowl mix together the sugar, parsley and lemon zest until a crumbly mixture is created.  (Set aside 3 tablespoons of the mixture in a small bowl.) Add the butter and ricotta to the sugar mixture in the medium bowl.  Mix well by hand is fine.  Add the egg and continue to mix well until a light fluffy batter is created.  Spoon the mixture into a muffin tray lined with muffin papers or greased well.  Sprinkle the sugar mixture from the small bowl set aside on the top of each muffin.  Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Pumpkin Taquitos with Dried Cherry Mole Sauce

November 18th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

2 cups fresh pumpkin, cubed about 1 ½ inches
1 small red shallot, chopped
1 dried chipotle chili (preferably mecca variety), crumbled
1 teaspoon cinnamon, freshly grated
1 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly grated
Avocado oil
16 soft corn tortillas, small
Maldon salt
Fresh local ricotta cheese
Dried Cherry Mole Sauce (recipe follows)

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°.

Toss together the pumpkin, shallots, chilies, and spice in a large bowl. Toss in a few tablespoons avocado oil until lightly coated. Place on a greased baking dish and bake for about 20 -25 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft and the shallots are beginning to char. Place the pumpkin mixture in a shallow bowl and mash coarsely.

Steam the tortillas or dip in hot water before rolling the Taquitos. Place a few spoonfuls of the pumpkin mixture in each tortilla and roll tightly without cracking tortilla. Place seam side down on the baking sheet (no need to clean the baking sheet first!) Repeat until all the tortillas are used. Place in the oven and bake for another 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and sprinkle with a little maldon salt.

To serve, place two taquitos on a little plate with a dollop of local fresh ricotta, drizzle the Dried Cherry Mole Sauce over the top.

Dried Cherry Mole Sauce

Makes 2 cups

2-3 dried ancho chilies
2 dried guajillo chilies
2-3 cloves garlic
1 medium yellow onion
½ cup raw almonds
3 whole cloves
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
4 tablespoons sesame seeds
¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup dried cherries
2 tablespoons duck fat or pumpkin seed oil
1 cup duck stock
1 ounce dark chocolate, chopped

Directions

Preheat oven to 425ËšF.

In a large bowl combine, chilies, garlic, onion, almonds, cloves, peppercorns, coriander, sesame seeds, and pumpkin seeds, salt and dried cherries and toss with duck fat. Place in oven and allow the ingredients to char a bit about 5 minutes, watch it carefully. Place all charred items in a medium saucepan and add the stock. Bring to a boil and reduce heat, simmer for 20 minutes or until all items are soft. Take off heat and add chocolate pieces. Place in blender and blend until smooth.

Sweet Ricotta Gnocchi with Dates, Walnuts & Honey Cream

March 11th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 pound ricotta, drained overnight
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pinch of cinnamon
1 cup flour
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup milk
½ cup honey
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup dates, chopped
½ cup walnuts, chopped
Cinnamon, freshly grated

Directions

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients and mix until a smooth and pillowy dough has formed. Divide the dough into 5 sections using a bench scraper. Roll out each section into a long rope about the thickness of your pinky finger. Cut the rope into ½-inch sections and shape gnocchi using one of your gnocchi methods and place on a baking sheet lightly dusted with flour. Refrigerate for approximately 10 minutes. In the meantime, place the cream, milk, honey and vanilla in a small sauce pan and gently whisk while heating to a medium heat. Add the dates, walnuts and ricotta dumplings and gently mix together. Cook for about five minutes or until ricotta dumplings are cooked through. Serve with fresh cinnamon grated on top.

Anna Klinger’s Malfatti (Ricotta and Swiss Chard Dumplings)

March 11th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

We are extermely blessed here at Ger-Nis Culinary & Herb Center to be neighbots of Chef Anna Klinger and Al Di La. Her Malfatti Dumplings are divine and renown throughout New York City and beyond.

Ingredients

1 pound ricotta
4 bunches Swiss Chard, stemmed, chopped and blanched
2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter (1 stick softened)
¼ cup flour
½ teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
4 egg yolks
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
Black pepper, freshly ground
24 fresh sage leaves
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Directions

Place the ricotta in a cheesecloth-lined strainer and set over a bowl. Place in the refrigerator and let drain overnight for at least 18 hours. Place 1¼ cup of the drained ricotta in a bowl and reserve any remaining ricotta for use another time. Place the blanched Swiss chard in a food processor and pulse until chopped fine. Place the chard in the large bowl with the ricotta. Add the softened stick of butter (8 tablespoons), flour, nutmeg, egg yolks and egg and season with salt and pepper. Mix all ingredients until smooth and creamy. Scoop out a small amount and shape into an oval by using two spoons. Lightly dust the dumpling with flour and place on a lightly floured baking sheet. Continue with remaining dough until all dough is used, approximately 40 pieces.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the dumplings and cook until they float, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from pot and set on a baking sheet. In the meantime, heat the remaining butter in a large skillet on medium high heat and stir until the butter begins to turn light brown. Add the sage leaves, coating with the butter and cooking until the leaves are crisp, about 1 minute. Place the cooked dumplings on plates, drizzle with the butter and garnish with fried sage leaves and freshly grated parmesan.

Honey Ricotta Bourboun Fritter with Dried Fig & Pear Bourboun Sauce

March 9th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes about 25 fritters

Ingredients

1 pound fresh ricotta, drained
3 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons *Buffalo Trace Bourboun
Oil for frying
Dried Fig & Pear Compote (recipe follows)

Directions

In a large bowl whisk together the ricotta, eggs, vanilla, sugar, baking powder, flour anf bourboun until combined. Refrigerate the batter for one hour. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or fry pan to 375°F making sure that there is at least 2 inches of oil in the pan. Remove batter and using a large spoon, shape dough into fritter size dollops and drop into hot oil. Fry until sides are both golden brown, about 3-4 minutes for each side. Remove and drain on paper towels. Cool and serve with Dried Fig & Pear Compote and a few drops of *Hemispherical Fig Bitters on top.

Dried Fig & Pear Sauce

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

1 cup dried figs, chopped superfine
1 pear, peeled, cored and chopped superfine
½ cup turbinado sugar
1 cup water
¼ cup *Buffalo Trace Bourboun
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves, chopped superfine
*Hemispherical Black Mission Fig Bitters

Directions

Place all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring often for about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and discard the cinnamon stick. Serve spooned on a plate with the doughnuts and a few drops of *Hemispherical Black Mission Fig Bitters on top.

Prebuggiun per la Pasqualina (Spinach & Herb Fresh Pasta Pie)

August 15th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-9

Ingredients

Lingurian Pasta (3 cups flour, 1 cup water, 1 teaspoon salt, made into a pliable dough)
Linguarian Prebuggiun Mixture
1 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh marjoram, chopped
4 borage leaves (optional)
3 cups spinach, chopped
¼ cup pecorino Romano, grated fine
½ cup fresh ricotta
Salt/pepper
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 large egg

Directions

In a large pot of boiling water blanch all herbs and leaves and drain of all water using a cheese cloth. Chop all the blanched herbs up fine and place in a large bowl. Gently mix in the parmesan and ricotta sprinkle with salt, pepper and nutmeg and mix. Roll out the dough and place in a greased pie plate. Place the mixture in the dough in the pie plate evenly and make a whole in the middle and crack and egg, cover the top with more dough and connect the bottom layer to the top sealing the edges, like a giant ravioli in a pie tin. Bake in a preheated 375° oven for about 20 -30 minutes or until golden brown.

Allow to cool before cutting and serving. Cut and serve like a pie!

Pansotti with Walnut Sauce (using Prebuggiun filling)

August 15th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-9

Ingredients

1 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh marjoram, chopped
4 borage leaves (optional)
3 cups spinach, chopped
¼ cup pecorino Romano, grated fine
½ cup fresh ricotta
Salt/pepper
1 teaspoon nutmeg
½ cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
½ cup walnuts, chopped fine
½ cup heavy cream
Ger-Nis Fresh Pasta

Directions

In a large pot of boiling water blanch all herbs and leaves and drain of all water using a cheese cloth. Chop all the blanched herbs up fine and place in a large bowl. Gently mix in the parmesan and ricotta sprinkle with salt, pepper and nutmeg and mix. Lay out pasta on a floured work surface, preferably wood and cut the pasta into circles. Place a spoonful of the mixture in the middle of the pasta and roll dough over forming a half moon shape, pressing firmly to close (make sure the pasta is closed on the sides). Place in a large pan of boiling and salted water and cook for about 3-5 minutes or until all pansotti are floating. In a blender mix together the oil, garlic, and walnuts, blend until smooth and add heavy cream and season with salt and pepper. After the pansotti are cooked take them out of the water and discard the pasta water keeping about ¼ cup reserved. Place the pansotti back in the empty pan and pour the walnut sauce over heating on a medium heat. Add a little pasta water to loosen the mixture and serve!

Honey & Herbed Ricotta

August 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

1 ¼ cup fresh ricotta
¼ cup honey
1 /2 cup of chopped herbs of choice

Directions

Mix together all ingredients until smooth and mixed.

Grilled Eggplant Rolls with Tomatoes and Zucchini Mint Salsa

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-9

Ingredients

2 large globe eggplants, sliced thin, long ways
Salt & pepper
Olive oil
3 medium tomatoes, roasted and chopped small
3 cloves garlic, roasted and chopped small
1 medium yellow onion, roasted and chopped small
1 small zucchini, roasted and chopped small
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped fine
1 cup fresh ricotta

Directions

Lay the eggplant down on a large baking sheet and season with salt. Set aside. Pre-heat oven to 425°F. On another baking sheet place the tomatoes, garlic, onions and zucchini, making sure they are in large pieces and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place in the oven and roast for about 10 minutes or until charred slightly. Set aside and allow to cool. In the meantime grill the eggplant on a hot grill for about 3 minutes per side or until browned and grilled nicely. Chop all the roasted vegetables and toss in a bowl and toss together with lemon zest, juice and fresh herbs. Spoon a dollop or two of the ricotta on the grilled eggplant and spoon some of the roasted salsa on top. Roll up the eggplant and drizzle some of the juice from the roasted salsa over the top.

Grilled Zucchini, Portabella’s and Eggplant with Lemon Ricotta & Grilled Flatbread

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 zucchinis, sliced long and thin using a mandolin
1 portabella mushroom, sliced thin
1 grilled Japanese eggplant, sliced round and thin
Salt & pepper
Olive oil
1 cup fresh ricotta
1 tablespoon lemon zest plus 2 teaspoon
Grilled flatbread (recipe follows)

Directions

Follow instructions for the grilled flatbread and keep warm. Place all the ingredients on a flat baking sheet and season with salt and pepper and 2 teaspoons lemon zest, making sure to get both sides. Drizzle olive oil over it, not too much and flip and do the same. Let stand while the lemon ricotta is made. In a medium bowl mix together the lemon juice, ricotta, and zest and season to taste with salt. Heat a grill and grill all vegetables until grilled and soft, or about 3-4 minutes. Place a dollop of the herbed ricotta on the flat bread and spread around, place the grilled vegetables of choice over the top and serve!

Grilled Herbed Flatbread

Makes 6 hand sized breads

Ingredients

1½ cups warm water
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
3½ cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons sea salt
Olive oil
Coarse salt
¼ cup fresh herbs of choice (rosemary being the classic version), chopped fine

Directions

In a small bowl combine warm water and yeast, whisk a bit to mix and let stand for about 10 minutes or until the yeast if frothy and dissolved. In a large bowl mix the flour and salt, add the yeast mixture and about 2 tablespoons of olive. Mix well with hands or a wooden spoon until sticky dough is made, adding more flour or water if needed. Turn the dough out onto a floured flat surface and knead until smooth and elastic or about 5-10 minutes. Grease a large mixing bowl with olive oil and place the dough (smooth and elastic) in a round ball in the bowl and cover with a towel or plastic wrap. Place in a warm area and let rise until more than doubled in size or approximately 1½ hours. Punch down dough and divide into 6 balls. Roll out each ball into hand size flat bread until golden brown with grill marks, or about 3-4 minutes per side. Take off the grill and immediately brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and rosemary.

Roasted Heirloom Vegetable Ricotta Carrot Roulade with Black Olive Herbal Drizzle

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 20-30 Roulades

Ingredients

3 medium heirloom summer squashes, chopped large
1 cup heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
2 medium red heirloom carrots, chopped large
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 medium red onion, peeled and quartered
6 cremini mushrooms, halved
Olive oil
Salt & pepper
4 large heirloom carrots
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh marjoram, chopped fine
1 cup fresh ricotta

Olive drizzle

½ cup oil cured black olives, pitted and chopped fine
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh marjoram, chopped superfine
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 ° F. Place the squash, tomatoes, red carrots, mushrooms, onion and garlic on a large baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle olive oil over the top and bake until well roasted and semi charred or about 10 minutes. Take out and allow to cool completely. In the meantime prepare the carrot ribbons. Using a vegetable peeler shave carrots longwise into long ribbons (equally a mandolin can be used but is more difficult.) Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and blanch the carrot ribbons for about a minute or until soft but not too soft. Place immediately in an ice bath. Drain. Chop the roasted vegetables super fine and place in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the fresh herbs, lemon juice and zest and ricotta. Refrigerate until cool again. Roll the carrot ribbons in a circle about a half inch in diameter and plac eon a lines baking sheet. Place the ricotta in a piping bag with no tip (allowing for a wide hole) and pipe the ricotta vegetable mixture into the center. Place in the refrigerator until cold. Mix the olive drizzle by whisking together all ingredients and letting stand for five minutes. Drizzle the olive mixture atop the roulades before serving.

Honey Lavender Fritters With Fig Compote

August 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes about 20 -25 fritters

Ingredients

1 pound fresh ricotta, drained
3 eggs, beaten
1 vanilla bean scraped, bean scrapings reserved
¼ cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons lavender flowers (fresh or dried)
Oil for frying
Lavender Powder *1 tablespoon dried lavender flowers crushed and mixed with ½ cup powdered sugar
Fig Compote (recipe follows)

Directions

In a large bowl whisk together the ricotta, eggs, vanilla seeds, sugar, baking powder and flour until combined. Mix in the lavender flowers and mix again until the batter is thick. Refrigerate the batter for one hour. Heat the oil in a large sauce pan or fry pan making sure that there is at least 2 inches of oil in the pan to a temperature of about 375 degrees. Once hot drop spoonfuls of the batter in the pan and fry until golden brown, making sure to flip for a total of about 3-4 minutes. Take out and drain on paper towels. Once slightly cool, sprinkle powered lavender sugar over the top. Serve with fig compote.

Fig Compote
Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

1 pound fresh black figs, ripe & sweet, de-stemmed & chopped
1 cup lavender syrup
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves, chopped fine

Directions

Place all ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered, stirring often for about 1 hour. Remove from heat and discard the cinnamon stick. Store in a covered jar in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.

Cavatelli with Seared Squid, Oven-Roasted Tomatoes, Baby Arugula and Black Olives

July 4th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

025

4-6 servings

Ingredients

For the Cavatelli

1 pound all-purpose flour, or Italian OO flour
1 pound whole-milk ricotta, drained/hung in cheesecloth overnight
4 ounces semolina
3 ounces Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
Water, just enough to make a firm dough

For the Sauce

10½ ounces baby arugula, long stem ends removed
8 ripe plum tomatoes, peeled and seeded
Zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange, peeled into strips (no pith)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 spring fresh thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
3½ ounces black olives, pitted and sliced

For the Calamari

1 pound calamari, fresh or frozen, tubes and tentacles cleaned and separated
2 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
Pinch pepperoncino
Zest of 1 lemon, freshly grated
1 tablespoon Italian flat leaf parsley, freshly chopped

Directions

For the cavatelli

Combine the flours in a large bowl. Add ricotta and the parmesan and mix by hand to combine.
Add the water a little at a time, just enough to form a stiff dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work table and knead by hand until smooth and elastic. Be careful not to add too much water, but the dough should not be tacky or sticky.Wrap the dough in plastic wrap for up to a few hours.

To shape the cavatelli: cut the dough into pieces, and then roll one piece into a rope about ½ inch in diameter. Keep the remaining pieces covered in plastic wrap until needed. Using a small knife or a bowl/bench scraper, cut the dough rope into pieces about ½ inch long.

Press the pieces with your index finger against the blade of a butter knife with a rounded tip, flattering each piece of dough until fairly thin. Pull the knife toward you, dragging the dough across the work surface so that it curls itself around the tip of the knife to form a shell shape. Place on a floured sheet tray until ready to use.

For the calamari

Cut the calamari into tubes about ½ inch thick.

In a medium sauté pan over a low flame, heat a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil with the sliced garlic. Add a pinch of pepperoncino. When the garlic has softened and given off all of its aroma, turn off the heat and set aside.

Heat a large cast iron skillet or grill pan over high heat. Sear the calamari tubes and tentacles in just a little oil nicely colored on both sides. Remove to the smaller pan with the garlic. Toss with the freshly grated lemon zest and parsley. Adjust seasoning.

For the Sauce

Cut the peeled and seeded tomatoes into petals. Toss them in a bowl with salt and pepper, crushed garlic, strips of lemon and orange zest and fresh thyme sprigs. Lay them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast them in a 325°F oven until they are soft, shrunken and slightly golden.
Clean the arugula well.

Boil the cavatelli in abundant salted water until just al dente.

In a large sauté pan over medium low flame, heat a few tablespoons of the olive oil with the roasted tomatoes and olives. Strain the pasta and toss into the sauce, adding the arugula and toss together until it is just wilted. Add a few drops of pasta water and olive oil to the pan to achieve a creamy consistency. Adjust the seasoning. Spoon into warm bowls and top with the seared calamari dividing the rings and tentacles evenly among the bowls.

Spinach & Three Cheese Ravioli (kid friendly)

April 20th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for dusting
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
¼ cup fresh spinach juice
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup parmesan, grated fine
½ cup pecorino Romano, grated fine
¼ cup ricotta cheese
Butter

Directions

Mound flour on a work surface, preferably wooden, and make a well in center. Add egg, spinach juice and salt. With a fork, gently beat eggs and water until combined. Gradually stir in enough flour to form a paste, pulling in flour closest to egg mixture and being careful not to make an opening in outer wall of well. Knead remaining flour into mixture with your hands to form dough, adding more water drop by drop if dough is too dry (dough should be firm and not sticky). Knead dough until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes.

Roll pasta:

Divide dough into 8 pieces, then flatten each piece into a rough rectangle and over rectangles with an inverted large bowl. Set rollers of pasta machine on widest setting. Follow directions on pasta maker to roll out into flat sheets.

In a medium mixing bowl combine the three cheeses and mix well. To assemble ravioli cut the fresh pasta sheets cut into about 2 square inches, add 1 dollop of filling. Cover with another 2 inch pasta square. Using wet fingers seal all sides of ravioli by pinching down. Place raviolis in a large pot of salted boiling water. Boil for about 3 minutes, or until floating.

Strain and dollup with butter.

Half-the-Pasta Lasagna

March 31st, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

1 small Italian eggplant
½ package of lasagna noodles (whole wheat if available)
1 egg
1 cup skim ricotta
1 cup kalamata olives, chopped
2 cloves garlic
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, leaves chopped
Salt & pepper
6 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
¼ cup parmesan cheese
2 cups tomato sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

Preheat oven at 375ËšF. Slice eggplant lengthwise and brush with olive oil, salt & pepper. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles for 4-5 minutes. Noodles should be undercooked. Drain and rinse with cold water to shock.

In a medium sized bowl, beat egg and add in ricotta, kalamata olives, garlic, chopped basil, parsley and thyme. Season with salt and pepper and combine.

Take a loaf pan and line with parchment paper. Layer lasagna as follows: A spoonful of sauce followed by one layer of noodles, ricotta mixture, eggplant slices, mozzarella slices, and a spoonful of tomato
Repeat until finished and top with parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.

Cover loaf pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Take out of oven, remove foil and continue to bake for 5-10 or until browned on top.

Remove from pan by lifting parchment. Slice into 4 equal slices and serve over a spoonful of sauce.

Tip: Use sauce sparingly, otherwise lasagna can become watery.

Recipe courtesy of Robin Simpson

Spinach Ricotta Tortellini with Lemon Olive Oil, Black Pepper Tomatoes

March 30th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

For the tortellini

2 cups fresh spinach, steamed and chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ cup ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 Ger-Nis fresh pasta recipe

For the lemon olive oil, black pepper tomatoes

¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon zest
½ cup fresh tomatoes (cherry tomatoes halved or other tomatoes cut into small chunks)
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon maldon salt

Directions

For the tortellini

In a small bowl, combine spinach, parsley, mint, cayenne pepper, ricotta, and salt. Mix and set aside. Using fresh pasta sheets cut with cookie cutters cut pasta into 3 inch discs, place a teaspoon of filling on the center of one pasta sheet, making sure not to over stuff. Fold the pasta disc in half making a half disc. Using wet fingers, seal all sides of tortellini by pinching down, making sure they are sealed well. Then fold the two sides of the half sphere towards each other and using your finger to make a small center hole, you will basically be forming a donut shape.

tortellini

Place tortellini’s in a large pot of salted boiling water. Boil for about 3 minutes, or until the raviolis float to the top of the pan. Strain, and serve with the lemon olive oil black pepper tortellini.

For the lemon olive oil black pepper tomatoes

Preheat oven to 400˚F. Mix all ingredients, except salt in a baking dish and bake for about 10 minutes. Take out of the oven and sprinkle with the maldon salt. Serve over tortellini’s.

Wild Mushroom Ravioli with Porcini Cream Sauce

February 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

For ravioli

¼ cup dried porcini mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small shallot, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
2 cups mixed mushrooms, chopped fine
Salt and pepper
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped fine
½ cup fresh ricotta cheese
¼ cup grated Pecorino cheese
2 tablespoons heavy cream (optional)
Fresh pasta sheets

For sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small shallot
½ cup white wine
¾ cups reserved porcini liquid
½ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped fine
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup grated Pecorino cheese, to garnish

DIRECTIONS

For ravioli

In a small bowl, place dried porcini mushrooms and pour hot water just to cover, about ¾ cups. Let sit for 20 minutes and then strain mushrooms, reserving liquid. Chop mushrooms into small pieces and set aside.

In a large sauté pan over medium high heat, add olive oil. Add shallots and cook, stirring constantly until translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Next, add mushrooms (including chopped and reserved porcinis) and sauté until beginning to turn brown and caramelize. Season with salt and pepper and then add lemon zest and juice. Take off heat and add herbs, ricotta and pecorino cheeses and heavy cream (if using). Cool and then use to fill raviolis.

Place large pasta sheet on cutting board with the long side parallel to the edge of work surface. Place 8 heaping teaspoons of mushroom filling along the top third of the sheet about 2 inches apart. Moisten pasta around each mound of filling, using a pastry brush or your fingers dipped in water. Fold the dough up and over the filling to enclose; press around filling to seal. Cut between mounds with a plain pastry wheel, cookie cutter or knife. Transfer to floured baking sheet. Cover with a clean kitchen towel. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Chill until ready to cook.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add about 6 ravioli per serving, and cook until tender but al dente, about 2 minutes. When ravioli are done, use a slotted spoon to remove from boiling water. Drain well, and keep warm while making sauce.

For sauce

In same sauté pan that you cooked the mushrooms in, over medium heat, add oil. Add shallots and cook, stirring constantly until translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add white wine to deglaze the pan, scrapping up any mushroom bits. Reduce until almost all is evaporated. Next, add porcini liquid and again, reduce by ¼. Add heavy cream and cook, 3 to 4 minutes until thick and creamy. Add fresh thyme leaves and season with salt and pepper. Pour over wild mushroom raviolis and garnish with Pecorino cheese and serve.

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Ricotta, Olives, and Herbs

October 11th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

INGREDIENTS

1 cup ricotta cheese
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
4 large heirloom tomatoes, sliced
1 pint cherry Tomatoes, halved
1 large red onion, sliced
1 cup fresh basil leaves
¼ cup fresh mint leaves
¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
½ cup pitted green olives (ideally calabrese or something equally briny)
Red wine vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil (ideally Frantoia or Montevertine)
Black pepper
Maldon sea salt, to taste

PREPARATION

Place ricotta cheese in mixing bowl and whisk with about a ¼ cup of olive oil until cheese is smooth. Season lightly with kosher salt and black pepper. Place Heirloom and Cherry tomatoes on plate and season with generous amount of sea salt, freshly cracked pepper, and a dash of red wine vinegar (important to get a little vinegar on each tomato). In a separate mixing bowl, toss together onions, herbs, and olives, and season with red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread evenly over tomatoes. Place healthy dollops of ricotta on top of entire salad and drizzle with more olive oil and sprinkle with final pinch of sea salt.

© Recipe courtesy of John Adler, franny’s

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Ricotta, Olives, and Herbs

Sweet Herbed Cannolis

August 5th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 10 cannolis

INGREDIENTS

10 pre-packaged cannoli shells
2 cups fresh ricotta cheese
¼ cup confectioners sugar
Zest of 1 Lemon
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped fine
¼ cup shelled unsalted pistachios, chopped

PREPARATION

In a medium size bowl, mix ricotta cheese, confectioners sugar, lemon zest and herbs together until combined. Next, fold in nuts. To fill cannolis, place filling in a piping bag or Ziploc bag that you cut at the end, pipe some into 1 end of a cannoli shell, filling shell halfway, then pipe into other end. Repeat with remaining shells.

Arancini Rice Balls with Ricotta Cheese

August 5th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

A traditional Sicilian snack, these mini rice balls are golden and delicious!
Makes 20 rice balls

INGREDIENTS

2 cups leftover risotto rice
2 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped fine
½ cup ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
All-purpose flour, for dredging
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup fine, dry breadcrumbs

PREPARATION

In a medium sized bowl mix leftover risotto rice with fresh parsley. In a separate small bowl, combine ricotta and pecorino cheeses and set aside. Put 2 tablespoons of the rice mixture in your moistened palm and make a small indentation in the center of the mound and fill it with about 1 teaspoon of the ricotta mixture. Fold the rice around the filling to enclose it and pat the rice into an oval. Repeat with the remaining rice and ricotta.

In a medium saucepan, heat 2 inches of olive oil to 300°. Set a rack over a large baking sheet. Put the flour, eggs and bread crumbs in 3 shallow bowls. Dredge the rice balls in the flour, shaking off any excess, next dip in egg and then coat with the bread crumbs. Deep-fry 5 ovals at a time until golden brown, about 2 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the rice balls onto paper towels to drain while you fry the rest. Serve hot or warm.

Spinach Herb Ricotta Cannelloni with Fresh Tomatoes and Lemon

November 10th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

2 cups spinach, steamed and drained
¼ cup fresh basil chopped
¼ cup fresh parsley chopped
2 tablespoons marjoram chopped
2 tablespoons oregano chopped
½ cup red bell peppers chopped fine
½ cup red spring onions chopped
½ cup carrots chopped fine
3 cloves garlic chopped fine
½ cup fresh ricotta cheese
Salt/pepper
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
Fresh Herb Pasta Recipe (follow directions for the pasta maker and make 8 4X5 sheets of pasta
Olive oil for greasing the pan
5 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
Zest and juice of 2 lemons

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 300 Degrees for 15 minutes. In a large mixing bowl, combine, spinach, herbs, bell peppers, onions, carrots garlic and ricotta, mix well with a fork until all ingredients are blended. Season with chili flakes, salt and pepper. Place a few spoon full’s of the cheese herb mixture in a sheet of pasta and roll up and place in a greased glass baking dish. Do this 7 more times and place in the glass dish. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until pasta is golden brown. Mix the tomatoes and lemon zest and juice together and pour over cannelloni and bake for approx 3-5 more minutes.

Watermelon Mint Ricotta Salata

November 4th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

INGREDIENTS

2 cups watermelon cubed
1/3 cup shredded ricotta salta
¼ cup chopped mint
juice of 2 limes
Salt

PREPARATION

Mix ingredients and chill.

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