I love fresh homemade Ricotta, it’s one of those things that once you have it you can’t go back to the packaged stuff. I am a food purist…some read that as a food snob. If always selecting the very best ingredients and putting forth the effort to deliver a meal that my family swoons over makes me a snob, well, I’m proud to be a food snob!

I made these yesterday and they were outstanding. Very light, fluffy and creamy rich. This recipes makes several and they really need to be eaten hot right away. Don’t let them sit. You can reheat them gently in a pan with a bit of olive oil over a low flame…just don’t let them brown again or they will be tough.

Ricottacakes

For the Ricotta cakes

1.5 pounds of fresh Ricotta (you can get this in the deli or gourmet cheese section of larger markets. It should be in a package that looks like a little souffle)

2 large eggs beaten lightly

palm full (about a 1/4 cup) of Parmigiano Reggiano

palm full (about 1/4 cup) Locatelli Romano

good pinch of sea salt (I use fine gray salt to cook with)

good grind of black pepper

4 tablespoons of flour (I use pastry flour because it is fine and silky…perfect for this dish)

Mix the ingredients together until combined and stick in the fridge for a moment.

Chili basil oil

Chiles wreck my hands, so unless my husband is around I rely on Chinese garlic chili sauce…the totally generic kind…comes in a big jar and it’s Chiles and garlic in oil.

Take a tiny dab of the chili sauce about a scant 1/4 teaspoon and combine it with about a cup of fresh torn basil leaves in a food processor. I use Genovese Basil for this. With the processor on low drizzle in a half cup of Extra Virgin Olive oil. Use The best you can here because you will taste it. When it is nicely combined pour it into a clean bottle or bowl for serving.

Go get your Ricotta and lets get cooking!

Warm a heavy skillet with a covering of extra virgin olive oil over medium low heat. If you can place your hand over the pan for about 5 seconds without having to pull it away it is at the right temperature.

Add your ricotta mixture in tablespoon size balls to the pan. They will spread a bit with the heat. When the very edges begin to tan like a pancake give them a gentle flip. They may fall apart on you…don’t worry because they firm up on the other side. Now give them a minute or two to firm up…do not over brown them. You  are looking for a golden brown.

Take them off the heat and transfer to a warmed plate. Have your family ready and drizzle each with a tiny bit of the chili basil oil…finish the rest of the batch!

These are sophisticated enough to serve for a nice dinner, but totally kid friendly.(you may want to substitute garlic for the chili if you have little ones. Pesto is also outstanding with this)

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