A whole lotta ricotta goin’ on

27 Mar

Ricotta marries asparagus and gives birth to a spring pizza…then runs away with cocoa and peanut butter for dessert.
 

Rambling

Ahh, ricotta. Supple, spoonable cheese by-product. So humble, so simple, so versatile. From savory to sweet, in dishes from Italy to India. Such a dexterous dairy darling you are. I can’t get enough of you. Tonight, I pair you with tender, reed-thin asparagus and enjoy you on a fresh, spring-inspired pizza. Later, I will blend you with cocoa and peanut butter, and sip you as a sweet smoothie. Tomorrow, I will mix what little is left of you into my egg salad as a stand-in for mayonnaise. Ahh, ricotta…How do I love thee? I have only just started counting the ways…

Roast

Asparagus & Ricotta Pizza

Adapted from a recipe published online and in April 2012 Family Circle
 

Ingredients

  • Prepared, refrigerated multi-grain pizza dough
  • 1/2 c. part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 lb. fresh asparagus, ends trimmed, cut into 2-3″ pieces
  • Olive oil
  • Minced garlic
  • Freshly ground sea salt and pepper
  • Crushed red pepper flakes

Directions: Preheat oven to 450. Roll out and stretch dough to fit pizza stone. (I don’t have a pizza stone, so I manipulated my dough to fit my stoneware baking sheet, which is about 11×17 inches.)

In a small bowl, toss asparagus pieces with a few tablespoons of olive oil. Grind salt and pepper to taste and mix to coat evenly.

In a separate bowl, combine ricotta, a few cloves of minced garlic, and a little extra salt and pepper to taste, mixing until smooth.

Spread the ricotta mixture onto pizza dough.

Top evenly with asparagus pieces, sprinkle lightly with crushed red pepper flakes, and bake at 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until lightly golden brown.

The concept of this pizza was good, but ultimately, Hubby and I agreed that this recipe could have benefitted from some added color and substance by way of roasted red peppers, and/or sun-dried tomatoes, and/or prosciutto. As prepared, it was tasty. But just too pale and minimalist for our tastes.

Because there always seems to be ricotta left over, no matter how small a container of the stuff I buy, I decided to use the remaining amount–about 1/2 cup–with 1-2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa, sweetener (1-2 tablespoons agave nectar), a splash of fat-free half-n-half, and a generous tablespoon of creamy peanut butter, blended with a few ice cubes, to create this yummy Chocolate Peanut Butter Ricotta Smoothie.

How do you use ricotta in recipes? Have you ever made ricotta from scratch?
 
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5 Responses to “A whole lotta ricotta goin’ on”

  1. Sarah March 28, 2012 at 11:14 am #

    I just made a similar pizza on Sunday! It had fontina cheese though, not ricotta. Otherwise it’s identical. EXCEPT, I did not have that fantastic dessert! UGH! When I got this post in an email last night, I immediately made that smoothie, and then wanted to hug you. OH how wonderful it was. I felt nothing but pure happiness as I drank it. LOVED IT! Thank you for sharing 🙂

    • ramblings&roasts March 28, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

      Cheers! Thanks for “stopping by”, Sarah. And oooo, Fontina…

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