Monday, September 12, 2011

Homemade Ricotta Recipes

ricotta-packed pancakes!

As a follow-up to the homemade ricotta trials, here are a few quick and easy and mighty delicious executions.

First, since the lemon juice ricotta was the smoothest (and tastiest, IMHO) I spread it atop a sliced baguette and simply adorned the cheese with olive oil, salt, lemon zest. A perfect breakfast, light lunch or midnight snack.

Next, since the vinegar ricotta had a bit more structure but was still creamy, I used it in a summer squash pasta. I had every intention of mixing up a batch of fresh whole-wheat pasta and making hand-cut pappardelle but life got in the way!
Luckily, our beloved Berkeley Bowl carries fresh buckwheat pasta, just as healthy and soooo much easier. I like to use a potato peeler to shave the summer squash into thin ribbons, resembling the pasta. To make this dish even healthier, you can play with the proportions of squash ribbons:pasta. 
Simply cook up the pasta, drain and mix with the squash ribbons then dot with spoonfuls of ricotta. Yum. This dish makes a near-perfect paring with Sauvignon Blanc.

Lastly, since the buttermilk ricotta had the most structure it was best to mix into a lemon ricotta batter. 
Lemon ricotta pancakes have to be my favorite of all the pancake options out there. The lemon adds a bright, tangy dimension while the ricotta creates a creamy yet toothsome consistency.

Saturday morning I whipped up Gjelina's lemon ricotta pancake recipe in the latest issue of Bon Appetit. These super fluffy pancakes get their lighter-than-air quality from separating the eggs and whipping the whites til peaks form. There are only 4 tbsp of sugar in the whole recipe, my kind of pancakes. Fold in half the whites into the batter, then add the ricotta and lightly fold in the rest of the whites.
What a perfect lazy-daisy Saturday breakfast!

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