Ricotta Fritta (Fried Ricotta)

by admin on April 24, 2009

Elizabetta’s was a nice respite from the rain…..we bid our usual ciaos and I announced my hope for the evening…..I wanted to make Ricotta Fritta (Fried Ricotta). I had found a recipe as I always do but SO look forward to Elizabetta’s spin. Today, she had a perplexed look and said ah yes….we make this in Tuscany…..but I don’t make too much…and then she went and grabbed a worn beautiful cookbook and began to explain how this chef is one of the best in Tuscany and he shops at her store every day…..and yes, he has the recipe…..

As I looked over her shoulder, she translated for me….and after we went through it all….she thought twice…I need to get a piece of paper….she looked everywhere on her desk and finally discovered a small tablet underneath some books…she tore a piece off and then went through the same routine with a pen.  Now armed with pen and paper, we went back through it again.  It was very different then the recipe I had found…

First you make the sauce…with flour, water, a bit of oil and two eggs.  I noticed the recipe didn’t have any measurements…but how do I know how much flour?  She looked at me in the eyes…perhaps with a bit of astonishment…she truly had a novice on her hands….ok….she said….you are making a sauce….you want it to look and feel like a sauce…that would cover the ricotta….that you could dip the ricotta in….so just do it that way….if it is too thick add more water….too thin add more flour….I must have looked a bit afraid as she then said…..ok about this much of flour….and held her thumb and finger apart so wide….and this much water…and opened them wider….and a splash of oil and the 2 eggas….I love the way she says eggs….eg gas.  Ok…I can do this!

She then went on to tell me how to make the ricotta…take the ricotta…I give to you exact amount you need…and add two eggs…and 100 oz. of parmesan cheese….ut oh….how much is 100 oz. I asked…not much she said…and then proceeded to pick up a piece of parmesan and show me about how much.  Mix it all together and finish it with salt.

Take a spoonful of the Ricotta mixture and dip it in the sauce…then place it in a pan with olive oil…don’t let them touch….and fry for a few minutes…should be brown on the outside and creamy ricotta in the middle.  Serve them hot….

As I walked out of Elizabetta’s that day, I couldn’t help but have a new feel for cooking….she was teaching me the “feel”….I never knew it had a “feel”.   Cooking is a lot of common sense…it can be a bit natural if you can cast the fear of failure aside….and I have failed….ask the girls about the ricotta and spinach canneloni I tried….we ended up having cornflakes for dinner…ha….but I have succeeded too…like the ricotta fritta…it was a HUGE success…the kids loved it….they loved that I was cooking and serving them right off the stove (of course I wasn’t sitting down)….and they talked about the look, texture and goodness…what it reminded them of….a food memory in our own kitchen!  They begged me to stop as I believe the recipe was for a cocktail party for 20 but I fried down to the last drop….we pulled them out of the frig the next day for lunch…along with the sundried tomatoes and extra virgin olive oil….and they were just as fabulous.

MY INGREDIENTS LIST AND DIRECTIONS ….. AND A LITTLE BIT OF RICOTTA FRITTA!

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