Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ricotta Results

Well, I think we are all back into the swing of things. I was really excited about this challenge because I already a recipe in mind. When I think of ricotta a few things to come to mind. The first is, of course, lasagna. I never get to have lasagna, because my mean husband doesn't like it. However, I am definitely going to try Carey of Cooking with Carey recipe. It is a copycat recipe from Olive Garden and it looks amazing! I like the fact that there are sundried tomatoes in it. I have a few jars left and I am dying to use them. Here is Carey recipe. Make sure to check her blog out too!

Olive Garden's 5 cheese lasagna


1/4 C. Butter

1/4 C. Flour

2 C. Milk

1/4 C. Sun-dried tomatoes -- oil Packed -- minced

1 tablespoon Fresh garlic -- minced

3 1/2 C. Ricotta cheese

3 Eggs

1 C. Grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 C. Grated Romano cheese

1/2 tsp. Salt

1 tsp.

Black pepper

4 C. Mozzarella cheese -- shredded

1 C. Spinach lasagna noodles or Regular if unavailableMarinara sauce -- as desired

Extra Parmesan cheese

Freshly grated

To make sauce melt butter with medium heat in heavy, 1 quart saucepan. Add flour and stir until well blended; cook until frothy. Add milk, stirring constantly with wire whisk as mixture comes to a simmer. Cook and stir until thickened (3-4 minutes). Chill while mixing other ingredients. Drain and mince tomatoes and garlic. Place other cheese filling ingredients in 3-quart mixing bowl with tomatoes and garlic. Add 1-1/2 cups of cooled cream sauce and mix until well blended. Refrigerate, reserving 1/2-cup for later use.

Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions. Cool under cold water and drain. Place 3 lasagna noodles in a 9x13x2 lightly oiled baking dish, overlapping slightly. Spread 1-1/2 cups cheese filling over noodles; sprinkle with one cup mozzarella and 1/4-cup fontina cheese. Repeat pasta and cheese layering three more times; top with remaining three lasagna noodles. Spread 1/2-cup of reserved cream sauce over top and cover lightly with foil. Preheat oven to 350~ and bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven and keep warm at least 30 minutes before serving.

Serve topped with hot marinara and Parmesan cheese. (Can be refrigerated a day before baking if desired.)

Cristine of Cooking With Cristine once again joined us with her delightful dish of Farfalle w/Ricotta, Ham, and Corn. Go to her blog to see how wonderful the dish looks! This dish is incredibly simple to make and it looks delicious.

Farfalle with Ricotta, Ham, and Corn

2 ears white or yellow corn, husks and silk removed OR 1 cup thawed frozen corn OR 1 cup canned corn

1 lb dried farfalle

3/4 cup ricotta cheese

1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

3 oz cooked ham, cut into strips

Salt, to taste

White pepper, to taste

Parmesan cheese for the table

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add corn (if using ears). As soon as the water returns to a boil, remove from heat, cover, and let stand for about 5 minutes. Remove the corn from the water and set aside until cool enough to handle. Then, using a sharp knife, cut off the kernals. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente.

Meanwhile, place ricotta in a bowl. Add a few tablespoons of hot pasta water and stir until smooth and creamy.

Drain the pasta and transfer to a warmed serving bowl. Immediately add the butter, ham, ricotta, salt, and white pepper. Toss well, scatter the corn on top, and serve immediately.

Last but not least is my recipe. I saw a show on FoodNetwork about an ice cream contest that Haagen Das was having. One of the contestants made Cannoli Ice Cream. Unfortunally, she lost. I desperately wanted to try that flavor but no one else made it, so I went online and found a copycat recipe from Jim Caccom. This recipe called for candy fruit and pistactos, but I omit them. I was amazed at how it turned out. It taste just like a cannoli! I use the Tuiles I made from my DBC as ice cream cones. How cool is that?

Cosmic Cannoli Ice Cream(recipe by Jim Caccamo)
2 cups plus

2 tbsp half-and-half, divided

6 egg yolks

1 cup sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Zest of 1 lemon

1 pound (about 2 cups) fresh ricotta cheese

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/3 cup candied fruit (or dried fruit), in 1/4 -inch dice

1/3 cup pistachio nuts, coarsely choppedCannoli pieces (for garnish)

Bring 2 cups half-and-half just to a simmer in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat.

In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, cinnamon and lemon zest. Slowly, pour the hot half-and-half into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Return mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat. Stir slowly and continuously with a wooden spoon until the custard thickens, about 5 minutes. (The custard will hold a path on the back of the spoon when a finger is drawn across it when it is thick enough). Do not boil. Pour the custard through a medium-mesh sieve set over a bowl.

Place ricotta and vanilla in bowl of a food processor. Pulse to mix. Add up to 2 tablespoons half-and-half, as needed, and pulse until the mixture is smooth. Add ricotta mixture to the custard and whisk together. Cover and refrigerate mixture until cold (at least 1 hour).

Transfer the cold mixture to an ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer's instructions. Add chocolate chips, fruit and nuts during the last minute. Transfer ice cream to a container; cover and freeze until firm before serving.

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