This weekend, I played around with making homemade ricotta. It is one of my favorite cheeses but I rarely buy it because it’s almost impossible to find an organic version, and after reading this book, when it comes to dairy I am committed to eating 100% organic.
For my initial foray into the world of cheese making I used Strauss Creamery’s organic whole milk because I love their products and business ethics (they were the first organic creamery in the United States!). However now that my process yields consistent results, next time I plan to splurge on organic goats milk or organic raw milk for the increased nutritional benefits.
My final product was delicious. Decedent, yet still light and creamy with a hint of brightness from the lemon. I can’t wait serve it for dessert this summer with fresh berries and a drizzle of honey. Here’s a great tutorial for making your own Ricotta Cheese.
Since ricotta does not stay fresh for long (3-4 days in the fridge) I decided to use mine in a simple frittata. Because I’d never heard of such a thing, I did a quick google search and settled on a Mario Batali recipe for inspiration, with a few tweaks here and there. Oh, and doesn’t “ricotta frittata” sound so cute?!
- 2 tbsp. of extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 large clove of garlic
- 4 tablespoons of minced italian parsley (fresh is optimal but dried will work too)
- 8 organic (pastured, if available to you) eggs
- 1 cup fresh ricotta cheese (see my recipe for making your own, or buy the freshest you can find)
- 3 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tsp. of sea salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon of red pepper flakes + a pinch for garnish
- 1 cup marinara tomato sauce
Preheat your oven to 375°. Coat the bottom of a large cast-iron skillet with the olive oil. Add the onion and minced garlic and cook over moderate heat until the onion is translucent and very aromatic, about 7 minutes. Add the parsley and continue cooking until it’s fully wilted and dark green in color.
In a bowl, whisk the eggs with 1 tablespoon of cold water and season with salt, black and red pepper. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet until it’s covering the onions and herbs. Dollop heaping spoonfuls of the ricotta cheese in a circular pattern around the skillet staying 1 inch away from the sides of the pan (they will sit close to the top at first but will set in the oven). Garnish with parmesan cheese and a few pinches of red pepper flakes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the frittata is set.
Turn the frittata out onto a serving plate and let cool. Drizzle the frittata with your best extra virgin olive oil and serve at room temperature with warm tomato sauce on the side.
I LOVE frittatas and I have to say, this is the best I’ve had. It is light and savory, with mellow flavors that remind of a rich lasagna. It would be a beautiful dinner paired with an arugula salad and thick slices of rustic bread. I have to tell you, it was so delicious that we had it for dinner last night, and again for breakfast this morning.