With Slow Food Cheese in full swing this weekend in the small town of Bra in Piedmont in north-west Italy, I thought it a good time to share one of my favourite cheese recipes, a fabulous, versatile savoury baked ricotta.
The beauty of it is that you can use a variety of fillings to suit your taste eg. char-grilled eggplant, semi-dried tomatoes, basil pesto, to name a few.
It's a goodie for a light lunch, supper or picnic, accompanied by a garden salad. It also makes good cocktail party fare, served with crusty Italian bread.
With thanks to Andrew Payne, Photographix, for the beautiful photo.
- Prep Time : 20 minutes
- Cook Time : 60 minutes
- Yield : 12
- extra virgin olive oil - 4 tablespoons
- fresh ricotta - 600g, fresh, drained if wet
- fresh parmesan (parmigiano reggiano) - 100g, freshly grated
- eggs - 3, organic or free-range, at room temperature
- salt - 1 teaspoon
- red capscium - 2 medium, roasted and cut into strips
- flat leaf parlsey - 1/3 cup, leaves only, chopped
- dried oregano - 1 teaspoon
- paprika - 1/2 teaspoon (or you can use chilli flakes)
Preheat oven to 160degC. Line a 20cm cake tin with non-stick baking paper and brush with some of the oil.
Place the ricotta, parmesan, eggs and salt into a bowl and beat well to combine. Spoon half the cheese mixture into the tin. Cover with a layer of roasted red capsicum strips and scatter with the parsley.
Spoon remaining cheese over the top and smooth the surface. Drizzle the olive oil over the top and around the sides. Sprinkle top with paprika.
Bake in the oven for an hour - it will puff and rise but settle down when cool. Turn out onto a serving platter, cover and refrigerate. Return to room temperature, cut into wedges to serve.
Tip: to roast capsicum, cut in quarters lengthwise, remove membranes and seeds. Place under a hot grill or in a hot oven, skin side up. Cook until skin blackens. Remove and place in a plastic bag (to steam off the skins). Remove after ten minutes and peel or scrape off the skins, then slice into strips.