Tag Archives: ricotta

Sunday Pasta: Roasted Tomato, Corn, Ricotta

On Sundays I make pasta. It’s not overly planned or anything, but over time I realized this was become a routine. It makes sense. After a weekend of moving all around the city and most likely eating out a lot, this is my time to regroup and unwind. I always have a bunch of veggies from my CSA and and I visited the farmer’s market earlier in the day for more provisions. Pasta is just my go to. It’s comforting and easy. I know it’s the perfect base for experimenting with any of those veggies or new ingredients. Carbs schmarbs. The kitchen calls.

Cupcakes for Breakfast: Pasta with Roasted Tomato, Corn, Spinach and Ricotta

This pasta celebrates the seasons changing. The corn is still so fresh and summery. Tomato season is almost over, so while I can, I like to roast them for some fall-flavor. Ricotta from Blue Ridge Dairy is so creamy and light. I love knowing about where these ingredients come from and that they all end up working together to create something new and exciting to devour.

I take my time and sip wine while cooking. Between steps, I bob in and out of the kitchen, cleaning a little and getting ready for the week. Coming back to the stove slows me down. Maybe I’m crazy that making a big mess is a way to wind down but I love it. It fuels me. It’s my time. And even though I always cook enough for small dinner party, usually I’m pretty happy that it’s just me. Sunday nights with me and my pasta.

Cupcakes for Breakfast: Pasta with Roasted Tomato, Corn, Spinach and Ricotta

As you’ve read before, I don’t really do recipes for pasta. Because I never measure anything out really I think with repetition, you’ll be able to come up with something great yourself too. Here’s my non-recipe recipe:

Pasta with Roasted Tomato, Corn, Spinach and Ricotta

Preheat oven to 300° and throw a pot of water on the stove to boil for the pasta. On a baking sheet, toss golden cherry tomatoes and whole garlic cloves with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast until soft about an hour or you’ve run out of patience. Meanwhile, heat some olive oil and butter in a pan on the stove. Cut corn off the cob and toss in the pan. Cook for a while until soft. Toss in some fresh spinach (cause you have it and you should eat something green) and cook down. Now’s about the time you should probably cook your pasta. I typically use cappellini, but I think bowties would be nice with this too. Remove tomatoes from the oven and pour into the pan, juices and all. I removed the whole garlic, chopped, and returned it to the pan. Toss with pasta and fresh ricotta. Best eaten on the couch watching West Wing season 4.

Orange Ricotta Dessert Pizzas

orange ricotta dessert pizzas

It shouldn’t be a surprise that I love Italian desserts and pastries. Cannoli, tri-color cookies, zeppole, a biscotti with my coffee. But one of my absolute favorites is sfogliatelle. The delicate layers and laters of pastry are great, but the best part I think is the ricotta filling with a hint of orange. If you haven’t had one of these, find your local Italian shop and hunt one down. Seriously.

orange ricotta dessert pizzas

So for some reason, I’ve been craving this orange ricotta filling like crazy. And while I’d love to spend an entire day learning how to make sfogliatelle myself, let’s be real…no time for that. But I do have time for a little pizza night. Buying the dough at the grocery store or local pizza shop helps cut some corners and let’s you focus on the creative part.

I also thought pizza dough would be a great vehicle for my orange ricotta fix. I made two little pies, both topped with some slices strawberries, one drizzled in honey and the other drizzled in dark chocolate. I couldn’t tell you which one I liked more. Actually, I was so excited about these dessert pizzas that I ate them before my savory dinner pizza. Oops.

tomato pancetta pizza

(In case you were curious, for my savory pizza, I sautéed some pancetta and tomatoes in olive oil and garlic and spooned that over my dough which was already covered in fresh mozzarella slices. After it cooked, I topped it with some fresh spinach. Yum!)

Ok, but on to the highlight…dessert! Now what can I make next to continue satisfying my orange ricotta craving? Send me your ideas!

orange ricotta dessert pizzas

 Orange Ricotta Dessert Pizzas

  • Pizza Dough (of course store bought is totally fine)
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Orange for zesting
  • Sugar
  • Strawberries for garnish
  • Honey
  • Dark Chocolate, melted

In a small bowl, mix ricotta (about 4 oz for two small pizzas), orange zest (however much flavor you want), and about a tablespoon of sugar. Form small pizza rounds, top with ricotta mixture, and bake on a pizza stone at about 400° for 8 minutes. Top with strawberries, another sprinkle of sugar, and drizzle with either honey or dark chocolate.

(Note: These also would be great on a grill, and maybe that way you’d get the charred marks on the dough that I failed to get in my oven.)

The Spring Market

I feel like I’m finally cooking again. Spring has brought a new sense of excitement…for creating new things, for fresh veggies, for eating light and fresh. Getting to the market and getting in the kitchen seem more regular now. And that feels good.

This past week, my favorite market finds were oh so green spinach and fresh creamy ricotta. For an appetizer, I sautéed the spinach in garlic and olive oil and paired it with the ricotta drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Such a savory, sweet, simple veggie dish.

And it will only get better. Soon there will be asparagus, ramps, strawberries, tomatoes… ah the produce possibilities!

What’s inspiring you in the kitchen this spring?

Butternut Squash & Spinach Pasta

two things I’m really excited about right now are squash and taking some time to cook a good dinner. (Both seen in this recent post.) One of my new year’s resolutions is to cook more dinners (aka lunch leftovers!), which is just so difficult during basketball season, but I’m going to try. And farmer’s market squash is a great inspiration.

So for the second night in a row, I made dinner inspired by squash…Butternut squash and spinach pasta in a cheesy cream sauce topped with ricotta. I love the combination of the creamy squash and healthy spinach (even better with whole wheat pasta – not so much with the cream and butter though) and the notes of garlic and thyme.

  1. For the squash: Preheat oven to 400°. Cut off top and bottom of squash, peel, cut into cubes. Spread out on a foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme. Toss around to make sure every piece is coated. Roast for 15 minutes, tossing once to rotate.
  2. For the spinach: Sauté frozen spinach leaves with butter and garlic. After spinach has cooked through, add in a splash or two or three of heavy cream. Mix in some parmesan cheese. When squash is done roasting, add it to the spinach mix.
  3. Toss spinach, squash and cream sauce with whole wheat pasta. Mix in some ricotta cheese for extra creaminess.

What are your favorite winter meals?

Ricotta Tartines

4 ingredients. All from the Dupont Circle Farmer’s Market. That’s all you need for a perfect summer lunch – just a baguette, ricotta cheese, tomatoes and strawberries (oh, and a little sprinkle of salt or sugar). This has become one of my favorite Sunday traditions. So simple, so fresh, SO delicious.

Ricotta, Tomato, Sea Salt on Baguette

Ricotta, Strawberries, Sugar on Baguette

Om nom nom…