This is a good recipe for a healthy cheese that can be served with an antipasto platter. It looks great and the flavours are flexible – can be adjusted to the audience and can be made ahead.
It took a lot of effort and time to get this recipe together. I had a recipe that I found in a magazine but I needed to find a few more examples before spending up big on a large quantity of ricotta. Searching the internet was turning up recipes where the ricotta was mixed with eggs and parmesan or feta. I tried one of these but it was a bit eggy and not very flavourful. The only other recipes were in Italian because ricotta infornota is a traditional Sicilian recipe.
ROASTED RICOTTA – Ricotta infornota
This tastes better warm so it can be pre-cooked until it is beginning to brown then reheated, when it is needed, in the oven on the fan grill setting until nicely browned.
- 1 kg drained ricotta – some ricotta is pre-drained. If it is wet then it needs to be put into cheesecloth in a basket and drained for up to 4 day
- salt & pepper
- olive oil (good in a spray bottle)
- Version 1:
- 4 bay leaves,
- sprig oregano (sprigs and leaves)
- thyme (sprigs and leaves)
- dried Italian herbs
- dried chilli flakes
- Version 2:
- rosemary (sprigs and leaves)
- slices of orange
- orange zest from one orange
- thyme (sprigs and leaves)
- olive herb or olives or both
- Pre-heat oven to 220ºc
- Place baking paper on a tray that will fit the ricotta,
- Spread some of the herbs on the tray – choose one version above and method below.
- Press ricotta hard into the basket, or a container that is the shape you want, wipe it well on the top surface (which will be the bottom) with a paper towel, sprinkle with salt & pepper and spray with olive oil
- Carefully invert the ricotta on to the herbs on the tray
- Dry the new top surface with paper towel, sprinkle with salt and pepper add any other herbs and rub in, then spray with olive oil.
- Place bay leaves, oregano, thyme on the paper, place ricotta on top, sprinkle with salt and pepper, a tsp of chilli flakes and dried Italian herbs and rub in. Oil well and bake.
- Place bay leaves, rosemary leaves, thyme leaves, orange slices on the baking paper, place ricotta on top, sprinkle with salt and pepper. In the last 10 minutes sprinkle with rosemary, orange zest and olive herb, spray and continue cooking.
Cook for about 25 minutes. When beginning to colour up remove the ricotta from the oven, turn the oven down to 100ºc, add any extra flavours to the ricotta round:
- Sprinkle with olive herb, a few sliced olives and grapes and a spray of olive oil.
- Sprinkle with rosemary and thyme and a couple of tbs orange zest and
- Other options: sliced grapes, olives, orange zest, tomatoes, fresh herbs, chopped tomatoes,
Spray with olive oil and bake for a further 15 minutes at 100ºc.
If pre-cooking then remove the ricotta at this stage and refrigerate. Reheat on fan grill at 220ºc, until browned.
Serve warm with crusty bread, olives, pickled onions or anything on an antipasto platter.
To serve leftovers – cut into 2 cm thick slices and put into sandwich toaster with lid slightly jacked open. Spray with olive oil and toast until warm and golden.