Bay (or Rosemary) Scented Ricotta Infornata

By PRST
June 25, 2013
8 Comments


Author Notes: When I first learned to make ricotta, I went slightly overboard with delight and had ricotta overflowing in my refrigerator. I made gnocchi, ravioli, gelato, Kulka's ricotta lemon bars, cheesecakes and used it in a number of pasta dishes. It seems like I was searching daily for other recipes to incorporate it. One day, in the cheese section of our local health food store, I came across something new to me- ricotta infornata, a slow baked ricotta cheese with a golden brown crust and crumbly center. I purchased a piece and was so delighted by it's simplicity and possible uses that I of course, wanted to try to make it. A web search revealed a few methods so I experimented. A blog by Marisa Wilkins, All Things Sicilian, was an inspiration. My version bakes up creamier than the cheese I purchased, actually a plus in my mind. I love the earthiness that bay imparts but it is also good using fresh rosemary. Serve it as a first course with a salad or as a dessert drizzled with honey and served with figs or grapes. The possibilities are as endless as is the use for any good cheese!PRST

Makes: 1

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Fresh Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese (preferably homemade and with some heavy cream added to the whole milk- 1 cup cream to 4 cups milk)
  • Fresh Bay Leaves or Rosemary, enough to cover the bottom of a small baking dish
  • Coarse Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper, optional
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil, enough to oil a small baking dish and coat the cheese

Directions

  1. Taste the ricotta, add a little salt if needed. Strain the ricotta in a mesh strainer in the refrigerator for 24-36 hours. The strainer is going to mold the cheese so use one that will give the depth of the strained cheese about 1.5-2 inches. A firm, dry ricotta is desired.
  2. Pre-heat over to 350 degrees. Generously oil the bottom and sides of a shallow baking dish that is slightly larger than the diameter of the mesh strainer. Line the baking dish with either the fresh bay leaves or rosemary. Unmold the ricotta into the baking dish (invert the strainer onto the baking dish). Oil the cheese and sprinkle the top generously with coarse salt, and pepper (if desired)
  3. Bake for 1-1.5 hours until very nicely browned. Cool on a wire rack. Unmold after cooling.

More Great Recipes:
Cheese|5 Ingredients or Fewer|Make Ahead|Gluten-Free|Appetizer|Dessert

Reviews (8) Questions (1)

8 Comments

Sharon H. June 29, 2015
This is lovely!
 
Author Comment
PRST June 26, 2013
Thanks everyone for the positive remarks.
 
em-i-lis June 25, 2013
how lovely- with what do you serve this? cold, room temp, warm?
 
Author Comment
PRST June 26, 2013
I serve it at room temperature, like any good cheese, however it could <br />be lovely served warm, depending on what you are serving it with!
 
sexyLAMBCHOPx June 25, 2013
Looks delicious!
 
lapadia June 25, 2013
WOW! Thanks for sharing...
 
lapadia June 25, 2013
I can't wait to make this, we have an over size bay tree this is going t be great!
 
Author Comment
PRST June 26, 2013
Lucky you! I hope you can make the ricotta- it makes a difference in the end result.<br /><br />