For the Culy Italia column, Saskia Balmaekers, Italy expert and blogger of Ciao Tutti , writes her favorite Italian recipes, hotspots and tips.
For 4 persons
- 500 grams ricotta
- 2 eggs
- 200 grams grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon thyme
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- Zest of 1 organic lemon
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 8 Italian tomatoes (in small pieces)
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Pepper and salt
At the end of June, To Tuscany invited us to participate in their annual Food Blogger Competition. The assignment sounded great: create your own Tuscan-inspired recipe using a minimum of olive oil, tomatoes & Parmesan cheese. The price isn’t bad either: a week’s stay in Tuscany, plus a nice amount for travel costs.
We can already see ourselves lounging, reading, writing and extensive dining on this terrace… So yes, of course we want to win a week’s holiday in a holiday home in Tuscany! So we went into the kitchen to create a recipe, keeping in mind the criteria that the jury, led by Nico Atrigna, chef of Osteria Le Logge (perhaps the best restaurant in Siena), uses to judge the recipes. : presentation, Tuscan authenticity, creativity, innovation and cooking expertise.
After the success of the sweet strawberry ricotta cake we made on our previous visit to Tuscany, we decided to bake a savory version, with roasted tomatoes instead of the ruddy summer royals. Ideal for a summer picnic, for lunch, as a hearty snack, with a drink or as an antipasto.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a springform pan well or line it with baking paper. Want to give everyone their own ricotta tart? Then make it in a number of small springform pans or in small stews, as in the photo below. Grease it well with butter or olive oil.
Beat the ricotta in a bowl with the eggs, Parmesan cheese, thyme, oregano, lemon zest and some salt and pepper until fluffy. Spoon the ricotta mixture into the baking pan and bake the cake for about 45 minutes. Let it cool down.
Then heat a little olive oil in a frying pan. Fry the finely chopped garlic cloves for a while and then add the tomato pieces. Bake for a few minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and season the tomatoes with the balsamic vinegar and a pinch of sugar, some torn basil leaves, salt and pepper.
Place the ricotta pie on a nice platter or large wooden board. Spoon the tomato mixture over the top and garnish with arugula and fresh basil. Serve with focaccia or Tuscan bread.
From Saskia, Culy readers receive Italian culinary tips every week, from a new coffee address in Rome to the best wine bar in Venice. In between, you can keep your dose of Italian up to date with Ciao Tutti. A presto!