Soufflé-like in its lightness and texture, but not soufflé-ish at all in its technique or shelf life, this Savory Baked Ricotta is a show-stopper for brunch, lunch or dinner.
Growing up, one of my mom’s go-to recipes for brunch (or sometimes dinner) was what she called a “three cheese ham puff,” an eggy, cheesy baked dish that puffed up when it baked. It was good, but overly salty and rich and it didn’t hold up well for leftovers.
Baked ricotta is similar in approach but with fewer eggs. It is very stable once cooled and slices neatly. This recipe requires no special equipment and can be customized with your preferred herbs, spices and other add-ins. This recipe is an adaptation from my mother’s “3 Cheese Ham Puff,” (original source unknown), and Manuela Darling-Gansser’s Ricotta al Forno.
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Savory Baked Ricotta
- 3 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta
- 3 large eggs, plus one egg yolk well beaten with a fork
- 5 ounces pecorino or parmesan cheese, grated*
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary, thyme, oregano or sage (choose whichever you like, or combine)
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black paper
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper
- 1 large sheet of parchment paper (most grocery stores now sell this in rolls)
- Preheat oven to 400F (204C)
- Mix all ingredients well in a bowl
- Crumple a piece of parchment paper so that it’s very pliable and fit it into a 6- or 7-inch (15.25 – 17.75 cm) flat bottomed oven proof bowl or high-walled cake pan (I use a 6” X 3” cake pan or similar size Corningwear oven proof bowl). Leave a lip of parchment a couple inches above the pan or ovenproof flat-bottomed bowl. As the ricotta bakes it may rise above the pan/bowl. The lip will prevent a mess and serve as handles to remove it later
- Spray parchment with vegetable spray
- Spoon the mixture into the pan or bowl, smooth the top, and bake for approximately 75 minutes. Check 5-10 minutes before the given time to check for doneness, as all ovens are different. The baked ricotta will slightly puff up and turn golden brown. It should look set. Once removed from oven, let it cool in the pan/bowl.
- Using the parchment lip, pull to remove from pan, gently peel away and discard the parchment. Serve with salad either warm, room temperature, or cold. This will last in the refrigerator for several days.
*Grate the cheese from a block of cheese. It’s tempting, but do not use pre-grated cheese; the texture and moisture level is wrong for this recipe.