Tag Archives: Ricotta

Artichoke and Pine Nut Pesto Ravioli

Right before Christmas some family came to town, and we had a night in at my place where we cooked dinner.  Artichoke and Pine Nut Pesto mixed with some ricotta cheese and stuffed inside homemade ravioli, to be exact. 🙂 I had some pasta dough in the freezer, so all we had to do was make the filling and assemble everything.  Everyone pitched in and we created an insanely delicious meal.  Fun stuff!

We played around with the best way to make ravioli, and settled on using a round ravioli stamp.  Cutting them by hand was messier and just not as pretty.  Since they were big, the trick was not to over-stuff it, and find a good balance of pasta and filling.  I think we nailed it!



We cooked everything up and topped with a lemon brown butter sauce, fresh basil and Parmesan.  No leftovers in sight!

Artichoke and Pine Nut Pesto Ravioli

Artichoke and Pine Nut Pesto Ravioli

Artichoke and Pine Nut Pesto Filling Recipe

1 cup artichoke heart, cooked (canned would be fine, and roughly chopped)
1/8 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small garlic clove, peeled and minced
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
pinch coarse salt
a few grinds of fresh black pepper
1 -2 teaspoon fresh tarragon leaves, thinly sliced
1/2 – 3/4 cups ricotta cheese, to taste

  1. Pulse the first 7 ingredients together in a food processor. Stir in the ricotta and the tarragon and season to taste with more salt and pepper, if needed.

Note: Omit ricotta and serve pesto mixed with spaghetti or spread on some grilled bread for a tasty snack.

Fresh Pasta Recipe:

2 organic large eggs
10 organic large egg yolks
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading and dusting

  1. Whisk together the whole eggs and yolks in a bowl.  Put the flour on a large board or in your biggest mixing bow, make a well in the centre, and pour the eggs into the well.  Slowly bring in the flour using a fork and then knead by hand just a few times or until a nice dough forms.  Add  a bit more flour if the dough is very sticky.  Let the dough rest under a tea towel for at least 10 minutes before proceeding.
  2. Take out your pasta machine.  Cut the dough into 8 pieces and roughly form into rectangles.  Dust each rectangle with a bit of flour.  Starting on the widest setting, put one piece through the machine, dusting with more flour if it’s at all sticky.
  3. Fold the dough over itself and go through again on the same setting (you are essentially kneading and stretching the dough). Repeat this process on each setting, going from widest to thinnest, until you are left with a long, thing sheet of pasta. Be gentle during the process and careful not to tear your sheets.
  4. Repeat the whole process with all the pieces  of dough, laying them on tea towels or your clean counter. Cover with plastic wrap or a barely damp towel.
  5. Add a few tablespoons of filling every few inches to the top of a sheet, and top with another sheet of pasta.  Stamp or cut out your raviolis, making sure the edges are sealed so none of the filling escapes.
  6. Top with sauce of choice.  I used a brown butter sauce with a bit of lemon, but I bet this would be great topped with something creamy, as well.  Don’t forget the Parmesean, basil and fresh ground pepper to finish it all off!

From:  My Father’s Daughter


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Filed under Main Courses, Pasta, Vegetarian

Honey Pancetta Pizza

“It was leftover pasta”, my coworker said about his lunch and immediately had my attention. “In a fig and honey reduction.”  I was instantly drooling.  I had to have something fig and honey related for dinner, and decided a pizza might work out deliciously.  (I may also have had pasta for dinner the previous two nights in a row…..)  A distinct lack of figs at my local grocery store forced me to adapt my plans and go with Italian smoked bacon as a replacement.  Not a horrible compromise.  I then added a bunch of other delicious toppings and drizzled with honey.  This hint of sweetness really put this pizza over the top.  A  most excellent addition 🙂

I started by frying up some red onion, red pepper and the bacon, and let it get nice and browned.

Sautéed red peppet, onion and pancetta

Then I created a solid pizza base out of a large pita, tomato sauce and grated old cheddar.  Simple and delicious.

Pita, tomato sauce and cheese base

Then I threw on the aforementioned pepper mixture…

Onion, pepper and pancetta topping

And added some ricotta.

Ricottoa topping

Then it went in the oven until appropriately toasty.

Honey Pancetta Pizza

Fresh basil and a drizzle of honey finished it off.   TO DIE FOR.

Honey Pancetta Pizza Close-up

Honey Pancetta Pizza Recipe

1 tbsp olive oil
1 Large pita
1/2 cup Tomato sauce
3/4 cup grated old cheddar
1/4 sliced red onion
1/2 sliced red pepper
1/4 cup pancetta
1/4 cup fresh ricotta
1 tbps fresh basil
1-2 tsp honey, to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Heat frying pan on high heat and add olive oil.  Once oil is heated, add onion, peppers and pancetta.  Cook for about 15 minutes, until softened and browned.
  3. Spread tomato sauce on one side of the pita and top with grated cheddar.  Top with pepper mixture and ricotta.
  4. Bake in oven until cheddar cheese is melted, then turn on the broiler for a few minutes to brown the crust.
  5. Top with basil and drizzle of honey.  Serve and enjoy!


Filed under Main Courses, Pizza

Hearty Three Cheese Calzone

“Calzone. Yes. That’s a hell of a thing. ” George Steinbrenner knew what he was talking about, and this giant crusty, meaty pizza pocket is definitely a hell of a thing.  Undoubtedly, this is a recipe for carnivores.  (Vegetarians, go here.)  There are some veggies in this recipe, but mostly it’s the 2 kinds of meat, cheese sauce and tasty crust that come together to form this hearty indulgence.  Considering just how plentiful these babies are, they’re best consumed when absolutely ravenous. That’s the ticket!

Start by dicing up some onions…

Sliced Onions

Then get your filling ready.  Mix up a bunch of yummy meats, like ground beef and chorizo sausage with the diced onions and garlic.  Yup, we’re off to a good start.

Ground Beef and Chorizo

Cook until brown, drain the grease, then add tomatoes and green chilies.

Meat filling

As I mentioned before, there are at least 3 kinds of cheese involved with these calzones.  Feel free to add more if you like; more cheese is rarely a bad decision.

Triple Cheese

Mix up some fresh ricotta and monteray jack cheese.  Go ahead and add some Parmesan here too if you have it.  Make it a four cheese calzone!  Mix it all together with an egg and some seasonings.

Cheese Mixture

Now it’s time to mix the meat and the cheese mixtures together.  This causes intense, rich flavour sensations. Consider yourself warned.

Calzone filling

Roll out your pizza dough until thin, but not see-through.

Calzone Dough

Load it up with the meat and cheese filing, then top with even more cheese – like a nice thick slice of fresh mozzarella 🙂

Loaded up Calzone

Fold the dough over the filling, seal it up with a fork around the edge.  It will look nice and fancy, and make sure everything stays inside!

“I am loving this calzone . The pita pocket prevents it from dripping.”  My thoughts exactly, Mr. Steinbrenner.


Brush with olive oil.

Olive Oil &Calzone

Bake it in the oven @ 450, until golden brown.

Golden Calzones

To be honest, I would have liked this to be a bit more saucy,  but if you serve a bit of marinara sauce on the side and dip – problem solved.  Serve it with a salad to get your veggies, and dig in!


“Big Stein wants an eggplant calzone!”

Calzone Recipe

½ pound chorizo sausage
1 pound ground beef
2-3 tbsp olive oil
½ onion, finely diced
One 10 ounce can diced tomatoes
One 127 ml can green chilies
8 ounces ricotta cheese
½ cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
1 egg, beaten
Salt and black pepper
1 Pizza Crust
Additional olive oil for brushing
Tomato sauce, for dipping

  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil and add onions.  Sauté until lightly browned.
  3. Stir in sausage and ground beef and cook until browned over medium heat. Drain excess grease.
  4. Pour in tomatoes and chilies, stir to combine and cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  6. In a bowl, combine the ricotta, mozzarella, Monterey Jack, and egg.  Add a dash of salt and pepper.
  7. Add the cooled meat mixture to the cheese mixture and stir gently to combine.
  8. Divide the pizza dough into 8 equal size balls.  With a rolling pin on a floured surface, roll each ball into a 6-inch circle.
  9. Place one-eighth of the meat/cheese mixture in the middle of each circle.
  10. Fold half of the circle over the other half, gently pressing to slightly spread and flatten the filling inside.  Press a fork along the edge to seal closed, then transfer the calzone to a greased cooking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining dough and filing.  Brush the calzone with olive oil.
  11. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown.
  12. Serve with tomato sauce on the side for dipping.


Filed under Main Courses