Ricotta al forno recipe

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This is rich and yet fresh - wonderful with bread and a crunchy green salad. Sometimes I make it with olives, sometimes pinenuts. Make it with basil pesto or we love it with wild garlic pesto too (then just leave out basil, mint and flat leaf parsley).

Serves 6

  • Knob of butter
  • 150g freshly grated Parmesan
  • 2 handfuls of fresh basil
  • Handful of mint
  • Handful of flat-leaf parsley
  • 500g fresh ricotta cheese
  • 120ml double cream (or greek yogurt)
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 100g pine nuts, dry-fried or toasted (optional)
  • 12 black olives, stoned and chopped (optional)

Preheat the oven to 190c/gas mark 5. Grease a 30cm spring-form cake tin with a knob of soft butter, then coat the buttered surface with a little grated Parmesan. Shake off any excess.

Put the herbs into a food processor with half the ricotta and half the cream. Blend until bright green. Add the rest of the ricotta and cream, and, with machine running, add the eggs one by one. Transfer to a large bowl, and season the mixture with salt and pepper.

Add the pine nuts (if using), and finally fold in the rest of the grated Parmesan.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and spread the olives (if using) over the top. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. It should rise slightly and have a brown crust, but the centre should be soft. Serve immediately.

This recipe features on p39 in Sarah Raven's Food for Family and Friends.