Fresh Ricotta With Figs & Honey...to die for.

4 cups (1L) 2 per cent milk
1 cup (250 mL) 35 per cent cream
1/2 tsp (2 mL) coarse kosher salt
3 tbsp (45 mL) fresh lemon juice
12 fresh figs, quartered
Honey & extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
Flaky sea salt

1 ciabatta or baguette, sliced 1/2-inch (1-cm) thick, drizzled with oil and toasted if desired In medium saucepan, combine milk, cream and salt. Bring to rolling boil over medium-high heat, watching closely and stirring occasionally. Stir in lemon juice. Lower heat to medium-low. Simmer 3 minutes.
Pour into strainer or colander lined with double layer of cheesecloth and set in sink. Place strainer over bowl. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour to drain. Serve tepid, immediately, or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days. (Makes about 1-1/4 cups/310 mL.)


To serve, mound ricotta in centre of large platter. Surround with figs. Encircle with bread or toast. Drizzle ricotta with honey and oil. Sprinkle with salt.
Makes about 6 servings.



Italian Frittatas AKA spaghetti pie




For best results you need a non-stick oven-proof skillet. My grandmother used a cast iron skillet, which works quite well, but I’m sure if they had non-stick back then, she certainly would have used it.


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


1 garlic clove, minced (finely diced)


12 large eggs, beaten


¼ teaspoon salt


¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


This is the basic recipe. Try some of the variations at the end of the instructions.


1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat oil in the skillet over medium high heat; add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients.


2. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, gently lifting the edges of the frittata as they begin to firm, allowing the liquid eggs to flow back under in order to cook.


3. Place in oven and cook for 10-12 minutes until set and lightly browned. Remove skillet from oven and allow frittata to rest for 5 minutes. Slide frittata out onto a serving plate and cut in eight wedges, like a pizza. Serve hot and enjoy!


Five Variations:


1. Add a handful of chopped fresh basil leaves and ½ cup shredded gruyere cheese.


2. Add 8 oz. cooked and well drained spinach and ½ cup crumbled feta cheese.


3. Add ½ pound ground Italian sausage and ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese.


4. Add ½ cup sliced and sautéed mushrooms and 3 well cooked and chopped slices of bacon.


5. Add 1 cup peeled and sautéed eggplant and ½ cup sliced black olives.


In addition to these, try adding some chopped tomatoes, green peppers, hot peppers, other cheeses or meats. Come up with some favorite combinations of your own. Consider the basic recipe your canvas and create your own works of art.






 

Italian Sausage, Pepper and Onion Marinara with Toasted Garlic Bread


INGREDIENTS:


4 links Italian Sausage
 Olive oil for sauteing
 2 medium onions, peeled and sliced
 2 medium peppers, deseeded and sliced
 2 cloves garlic, minced
 1/2 tsp dried basil
 1/2 tsp dried oregano
 1 28-ounce can tomato sauce
 1/4 cup water

1 loaf bread (baguette or batard) cut into 4 individual servings
 Soft butter and minced garlic as needed for garlic bread


PROCEDURE:
Just like any meat based sauce, you'll, want to brown the meat first.....so get the sausage going in a large pot in a little olive oil and, once it is browned all around, take it out of the pot, add a little more oil if you need to, and add the sliced onion and deseeded and sliced pepper and cook those to soften.
At this point, the sausage doesn't need to be cooked all the way through yet and, once the onions and peppers have softened up and cooked down a bit, add the minced cloves of garlic.....and a little sprinkling of dried basil and dried oregano....let that cook along for a couple of minutes and then add 1 28-ounce can tomato sauce.
Rinse the can out with about 1/4 cup water and add that to the pot, let it simmer along for 10 minutes or so and then add the sausage back to the pot.
At some point, when the sauce is close to being done, slice the bread into individual servings and slather the cut sides with a generous amount of fresh minced garlic butter and then place the tray underneath the broiler to brown the bread.
Once the bread is nicely toasted and the sausage is cooked through, it is time to eat. Finish with grated parmesan cheese.