Kitchen Take Over – Putting the Ricotta to Use

Now that we have made up some Ricotta cheese, what can you make with it other than a Ricotta Bake mentioned in the last post?

Personally, I think Ricotta cheese is one of the most versatile cheeses you can use. You can create sweet treats for desserts or savory wholesome meals for a main course or appetizer.

Yesterday, I decided to put Ricotta cheese to the “grumpy old man test” by making up a bunch of different items made with Ricotta cheese as the main ingredient.

I started off by making Ricotta Gnocchi. To those who don’t know what Gnocchi is, it is a thick homemade pasta. You create a dough just like you would a bread, minus the yeast. You then roll chunks of the dough out into snake-like ropes about an inch thick. Then you cut inch long pieces and then roll onto a fork to develop it’s unique shape.

Olive Oil, Salt and Fresh Cracked Pepper
Add 1 egg and beat together
Add 1 lb. of fresh Ricotta Cheese
Mix together cheese with egg mixture
Add flour 1/2 cup at a time
Add flour until you have a sticky dough ball
Knead on floured surface, adding small amounts of flour
Continue the kneading process until your fingers come away free of dough
Spread dough out to just over 1" thick and cut into 6 pieces about 1" wide
I use my thumb pad to measure pieces to cut the ropes into even pieces
Roll cut pieces along the tines of a fork. Lay onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper
Now, either cook them or freeze immediately

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that you have made your Ricotta Gnocchi, you can use them as needed after freezing them. If you are freezing them, once they are frozen remove them from the sheet and place into ziplock bags or storage containers.

Once you are prepared to cook them, boil a large pot of water. Make sure that you have at least enough water for them to sink. I prefer to use chicken or beef broth, depending upon the topping I am going to “garnish” them with.

Once you have added them to your boiling liquid, they will sink to the bottom. Once they float, cook them for an additional 30 sec. to one minute to ensure complete cooking.

Once they are cooked you can cover them with Stewed tomatoes or like I did, you can create a ricotta lemon chicken sauce to smother them in.

Gnocchi with Ricotta Sauce

The Ricotta Sauce is very simple too. The ingredients are as follows:

1 lb. Ricotta Cheese
The zest and juice of 1 Medium Lemon
A handful or two of either Corn or Peas
One ladle full of the liquid your pasta has cooked in. This makes the sauce creamy.
Since I had a left over Oven Roasted Chicken, I pulled chunks of meat off the left overs and added about 1-1/2 cups of chicken to the sauce.
Since I like a sweet, spicy flavor…I also added about two tablespoons of Jamaican Jerk Seasoning into the sauce and a little bit more salt and pepper to taste.
Just mix all the ingredients together and then mix into gnocchi and serve. It is good hot or cold.

This was a huge hit, even with Mr. Youcan’tcook.  My ricotta inspired meal also included the following items. If you would like recipes, feel free to leave me a note and I will post them.

Whole Wheat Ricotta Bread
Fresh Butter
Ricotta Fritters
Ricotta Cookies with Orange Glaze
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