Posts Tagged ‘ricotta’


Italian Sausage and Pumpkin Stuffed Shells

November 14, 2017

We enjoy all sorts of pasta in our house, including stuffed shells. My son also loves sausage. These shells are perfect for the fall: they have a little spice from ground Italian sausage and extra creaminess from a little pumpkin puree snuck into the mix.

You will need:

  • 1 box jumbo shells, parboiled and rinsed in cool water according to directions
  • 1 lb Italian sausage, removed from casings, crumbled and browned
  • 1 c ricotta cheese
  • 1 c pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 T fresh sage, finely minced
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 c grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 c shredded Italian cheeses
  • 2 jars of your favorite tomato sauce

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spread a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked sausage with the ricotta, pumpkin, egg, sage, garlic, pepper salt and grated Parmesan.
  3. Stuff a shell with the sausage mixture and place in the prepared baking dish.
  4. Repeat until you can’t fit more shells in the dish.
  5. If you end up with extra sausage mixture, sprinkle it over the tops of the shells in the dish.
  6. Spread enough sauce over the tops of the shells to cover them.
  7. Cover loosely with aluminum foil.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes and remove from oven. Remove the foil and set the foil aside.
  9. Sprinkle the top with shredded Italian cheese.
  10. Bake another 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  11. Allow to rest at least 5 minutes before serving.

20171027 Pumpkin Shells 01


Pasta with Sausage, Peas and Ricotta

September 3, 2017

We are always looking for new ways to build a pasta dinner. This is combination of sausage and tender peas with spice from crushed red pepper flakes is excellent with the creamy and bright whipped lemon ricotta. Just add your favorite dried or fresh pasta for a lovely dinner. We used our fresh arugula pasta, and it was an great pairing.

You will need:

  • 1/4 c pine nuts
  • 1 c ricotta cheese
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1/3 c + 3 T grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 3 T olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb mild Italian sausage, out of its casing
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 c frozen peas
  • 1/2 c favorite stock (I used beef because it was on hand)
  • 1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 lb pasta
  • Pepper to taste

20170523 Pasta with Peas 04

Then you will…

  1. Toast the pine nuts in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat, stirring often, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the ricotta with the lemon zest, 3 tablespoons of the Parmesan, and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Set aside.
  3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat.
  4. Add the sausage and saute 5-6 minutes until starting to brown, breaking it up as you stir.
  5. Add the onion and garlic. Saute until the onion softens and turning golden, 3-5 minutes.
  6. Add the peas, stock, red pepper flakes, and salt. Mix together.
  7. Lower the heat to medium-low and allow the sauce to simmer and reduce, while you cook the pasta.
  8. Cook the pasta in salted water according to its instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water for the sauce when you strain the pasta.
  9. Stir the pasta and Parmesan into the sauce.
  10. Add the pasta water, a little at a time, until your sauce is the desired consistency and coats the pasta.
  11. Season with fresh pepper to taste.
  12. Serve the pasta and sauce topped with some of the ricotta and pine nuts.

Baked Ricotta Parmesan Dip

September 6, 2016

This is an easy to pull together appetizer or party snack. It is deliciously cheesy, and the lemon and herbs help lighten it as a dish. We served it with some grilled bread, but it would just as good with some crackers. Be creative!

You will need:

  • 16 oz ricotta
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1/3 c grated Parmesan
  • 2 T fresh thyme, roughly chopped
  • 2 t fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients.
  3. Spread into a small baking dish, ideally about 9-inches wide.
  4. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden and bubbly.
  5. Allow to cool at least 5 minutes before serving.

20160817 Ricotta 01


Cannoli Pie

July 26, 2014

Cannoli are a very fun dessert to eat, but they may seem a bit intimidating to make at home. This pie marries the best of the flavors in a really easy-to-pull-together way. I drizzled chocolate sauce on top of mine. Try this dessert at your next dinner party! 20140620 Cannoli Pie 02 You will need:

  • 2 c flour
  • 1/2 c + 3 t sugar, divided
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 2 t ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1/4 t ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 6 T unsalted butter, cold
  • 2 eggs, divided
  • 1 T milk
  • 2 c ricotta
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1 c semisweet chocolate chips

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with tinfoil. Lightly grease a 9-inch tart pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour with 1/2 cup of the sugar, the brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon, the nutmeg and salt.
  3. Cut in the butter until the dough begins to pebble.
  4. Hand mix 1 of the eggs and the milk into the dough. Knead until well mixed.
  5. Press the dough into the prepared tart pan.
  6. Place the pan with the dough in the freezer while you mix the filling.
  7. In a medium bowl, whisk together the ricotta with the remaining egg, the remaining 3 teaspoons of sugar, the remaining 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and the vanilla extract.
  8. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  9. Spread the filling into the dough-lined tart pan.
  10. Place the pie on the lined baking sheet.
  11. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until the dough is slightly browned and the filling has puffed slightly and set.
  12. Allow to cool to room temperature before serving.

Sausage and Spinach Ravioli

July 21, 2014

D and I both really enjoy good ravioli. We decided to make some at home following a fun weekend of camping. It seemed like a good hearty meal for a post-hike day. Using wonton wrappers makes this a quick to put together meal. You can usually find them in the refrigerated part of the produce section at your local market. The directions below have you sandwich the filling between two wrappers; we did this and then cut out fun shapes with some ravioli presses we got for Christmas. If you want, you could even just use one wrapper per ravioli and create small triangles! Whatever makes you happy!

20140720 Sausage Ravioli 02

You will need:

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 4 oz mild Italian sausage, out of the casing
  • 1 c packed fresh spinach
  • 1 t fresh sage
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 c ricotta cheese
  • 1/8 t ground nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 package (12 oz) fresh wonton wrappers

Then you will…

  1. Heat the olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  2. Brown the sausage in the skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.
  3. Add the fresh spinach and mix. Allow to wilt before removing the skillet from the heat.
  4. Chop the sausage, spinach and sage in a small food processor until it is fine enough for a ravioli filling.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the whole egg with a splash of water. Beat until well mixed to make a simple egg wash. Set aside.
  6. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the egg yolk with the ricotta and nutmeg. Stir until thoroughly combined.
  7. Add the sausage mixture to the egg-ricotta mixture. Season with salt and pepper per your tastes.
  8. Mix well. Set aside.
  9. Lay out 6 wonton wrappers. Lightly brush one side of each with the egg wash.
  10. Place a small amount of the filling (less than a teaspoon) in the middle of 3 of the wrappers.
  11. Top the wrappers with the filling with the remaining 3 wrappers, egg-side down.
  12. Press around the filling to get rid of any air bubbles, and then firmly press the rest of the edges together.
  13. Repeat until you have assembled all of your ravioli, storing the finished ones on a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet.
  14. Store in the fridge until ready to use.
  15. Bring a large pot of salted water to a light boil. You don’t want huge bubbles, since that can break open your ravioli.
  16. Drop the ravioli into the water and allow to cook until they float.
  17. Remove and serve with your favorite sauce!

20140720 Sausage Ravioli 03

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