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Tag: fresh ricotta cheese

Besan and Nariyal Barfi (Indian Confection Made with Chickpea Flour and Coconut)

Here is one of my favorite Indian sweets! Happy Diwali! Enjoy..

  • 1 cup besan (chickpea flour)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • ½ cup fresh ricotta cheese
  • 4 to 5 green cardamoms (seeds taken out and crushed)
  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • Sliced almonds
  • Pistachios, chopped

Heat a medium frying pan and add the coconut oil. Add the besan and sauté on medium heat for at least 30 minutes (or more) till the mixture turns a light caramel color.
Add the ricotta, coconut and cardamom seeds. Mix well and let the moisture from the ricotta cook out- about ten minutes.
Turn the heat off and add the sugar. Mix well until all is incorporated.
Spread the mixture on to a shallow platter with edges. Smooth with a spatula and sprinkle the almonds and pistachios and press down with fingers. Keep in fridge for half an hour to set. Take out and cut into small squares and serve.

Coconut Barfi (Coconut Dessert)

Delicious dessert for Diwali.. super simple and delicious!

  • 2 cups fresh ricotta cheese (full fat)
  • 4 to 5 cardamom seeds, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 cups dried unsweetened powdered coconut (grind shredded coconut in spice grinder)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup pistachios, chopped
  • 1 9 inch round pie dish, spread some butter all over and keep aside

Add the coconut oil to a medium heavy on a medium heat. Once the oil melts, add the ricotta cheese. Cook on medium heat, constantly stirring for 5 to 10 minutes. Add the cardamom seeds, powdered coconut and sugar. Cook on medium heat while stirring for another 5 minutes or till the sugar melts. Transfer the mixture to the pie dish and smooth the surface with a knife. Add the pistachios over the top and cover with plastic wrap. Let it set in fridge for 2 to 3 hours before cutting into 2 inches squares. Serve room temperature.

Roasted Broccoli Rabe and Sausage Pasta

Roast Broccoli Rabe and Sausage If I had to describe this dish in one word- yum comes to mind. I have mentioned before how I love this combination of flavors- especially in a pasta. I love, love broccoli rabe- it is one of my favorite vegetables.

The problem is my daughter and husband don’t care for it as much- the pasta dish I mean. They like pasta with red sauce and the one I normally make has no sauce. They don’t like it- but I love it.

This is a compromise since it has a fresh ricotta sauce. I was watching Rachel Ray and she made something similar- where she roasted the broccoli rabe and the garlic and mixed everything with ricotta. I thought it was a fantastic idea and decided to add sausage in there as well and make it a one pot meal. I made a special trip to Whole Foods and bought fresh ricotta- if you can do purchase it for this recipe. It makes a big difference in taste- a lot creamier and fresher.

The dish is super simple and quick to make- ideal for a weekday plus I got a thumbs up from the rest of the family!
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Orcchiette Pasta with Cauliflower and Sausage

Pasta with Cauliflower and Sausage This is a different kind of dish I tried the other day. I don’t end up making pasta as often in the summer months. Most meals are grilled and quick to make. As I have mentioned many times before, my husband loves cauliflower in any form and cuisine. I usually end up making it with Indian flavors- but for this meal I decided to pair it with pasta and sausage. I read a recipe in a magazine where the cauliflower was served in an anchovy sauce- I love anchovies and use them anywhere I can.

So, for this dish, I cooked the sausages with the anchovies, garlic and thyme. Somehow I always think of thyme when I cook with cauliflower- the two work really well together. I roasted the cauliflower in the oven and added the florets to the sausage mixture once they were golden brown. I paired it all with some orcchiette pasta (they look like tiny little ears). I love buying different shaped pasta- it makes for an interesting meal.

To add great texture to the dish, I roasted some leftover bread cut into small pieces with a drizzle of olive oil. Once the croutons were golden brown and crispy, I added them on top.

The pasta was delicious- essentially a one pot meal since it had everything in there.

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the florets on to a lined cookie sheet and drizzle the olive oil and sprinkle the salt. Mix well and bake for 45 minutes or till the florets are golden brown and soft. Keep aside.

  • 3 to 4 slices of sour dough bread cut into ¼ inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Place the bread pieces on a small lined cookie sheet and drizzle the olive oil. Bake in the same oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or till the bread pieces are golden brown and crunchy. Keep aside.

  • 1 four pack chicken sausage, taken out of the casings and crumbled
  • 3 to 4 anchovy fillets
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • ½ pound orcchiette pasta, cooked al dente
  • ½ cup spare pasta water
  • ½ cup fresh ricotta cheese
  • Salt

In a large frying pan, add the olive oil and anchovy fillets. Cook on medium heat for a minute or two. Add the crumbled sausage and cook on high heat for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic cloves and fresh thyme. Saute for a minute and add the cooked pasta and pasta water. Add the cauliflower and mix well. Next, add the ricotta cheese and mix well. Cook for another minute or two till the cheese is heated through. Add the salt and taste for seasonings. Serve each plate with a sprinkle of crispy croutons on top.