ITALIAN RICOTTA FILLING RECIPE

A multipurpose component of Italian cuisine that is used in cannelloni, ravioli, manicotti, lasagna, or conchigle. I’ve  also used it in the Torta Rustica construct and it can be mixed with other pasta shapes, topped with a tomato sauce and cheese, and then baked.  You can replace the Ricotta with cottage cheese or embellish the construct with a soft Italian like Bel Paese or Mascarpone or even the processed version of fresh mozzarella.  I like the ham flavored plastic cheese wedges for an interesting profile.  You can also flavor the bland ricotta with sundried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, pepperoni, orange or lemon zest etc.

1 pound ricotta cheese or cottage

4 ounces parmesan or Romano cheese – grated, not dust

1 egg

4 ounces mozzarella, provolone, or soft cheese – plastic pizza cheese

To taste chicken base, white pepper, nutmeg

2 ounces parsley, Italian broad leaf, chopped

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate until needed.

You can embellish this filling to complement any kind of protein intend on using it with.  For example a little anchovy paste, dried shrimp, or smoked salmon for seafood cannelloni.  You could add some fruit and substitute mascarpone for the ricotta, swap  sugar for salt and forgo the parsley.  Then line a dish or individual dessert plates with lady fingers, a layer of chesses, then berries top with some zabaglione sauce and glaze under the broiler or an impressive dessert.