Baked ricotta is simple
I was watching a food show about Sicily. They panned a table of cheeses, describing them. One was baked ricotta.
I looked up the recipe. I realized the basic recipe is the same one my mother used to make filling lasagna and stuffed shells.
The basic recipe is just a few ingredients.
Baked ricotta rises like a souffle. It deflates as it cools and solidifies. It turns into a semi-soft delight.
I stuck with the basic recipe, only adding some red pepper flakes for heat.
You can add any herb combinations you like and/or citrus rind.
My cooking time was longer. I realized the ricotta was still cold. Make sure it is at room temperature.
For this recipe, you will need a two cup ramekin or an equivalent size spring form pan and some parchment paper or foil to make a collar.
1 pound ricotta, drained well
Salt and fresh ground pepper
Minced parsley to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese to taste- about a half cup is good
Red pepper flakes to taste (Optional)
Let ricotta come to room temperature. Drain well.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Grease the baking piece with oil, butter, shortening, or cooking spray.
In a bowl mix all ingredients well with a fork.
Make a collar with parchment paper or foil. It should fit into the baking piece, sticking over the top about two or three inches. (See picture in gallery below.)
Line the baking piece with the collar.
Fill ricotta to the top of the baking piece.
Bake for 20-30 minutes.
Let cool slightly and carefully remove the collar.
If you are using this as a dip or spread, serve warm.
If you are using this as a cheese, let it firm up by placing it in the fridge.
You can garnish it with some extra virgin olive oil, grated lemon and/or orange zest, or fresh herbs.