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mountains of ricotta cheese

How does a trip to the farmers market turn into an entire week of ricotta-based meals? A very large eggplant, that’s how!

I found this rather large Chinese eggplant at the farmers market on Thursday but didn’t really know what to do with it other than pasta. But that just sounded boring so I decided to throw together my own little sauce and bought a tub of ricotta cheese to dollop slather all over the eggplant mixture. The dinner was hearty and yummy, didn’t even realize it was vegetarian! And my carnivore boyfriend loved it too!

Eggplant Ricotta Pomodoro

  • 1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (I used a Chinese eggplant from the farmer’s market)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ of yellow onion, diced (about ¼ cup)
  • 2 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons pasta sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • about ½ box of whole-wheat spaghetti (linguine or angel hair)
  • ½ cup part-skim ricotta cheese

Put a pot of water on to boil.

Chop and dice eggplant. Slice vertically into quarters then dice into ½ inch cubes.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and onions and cook, stirring for about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, vinegar,  salt, pepper. Stir and let cook for about 5 minutes. Add in pasta sauce, I didn’t use a lot because I wanted the flavors of the eggplant to really stand out but if you like a saucy pasta then go ahead and add more! Cook on low for about 5 more minutes.

sauteeeeeeeing!

Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling water until just tender, about 10 minutes or according to package directions.

don’t you love the irish man’s kettle in the background 🙂

Drain and divide the pasta. Spoon the sauce over the pasta and dollop each plate with about ¼ cup of ricotta cheese, maybe a little more since it’s part-skim. Enjoy!

blobs of ricotta cheese

So the store only had the large tubs of ricotta, which is exactly why the next few meals I made had ricotta cheese involved.

Ricotta stuffed Chicken

  • 1/2 cup part skim milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs or Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a large baking dish.
In a bowl, mix the ricotta cheese, walnuts, Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, and oregano.

walnuts add a yummy crunch to the stuffing
  • Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of paprika.
  • Loosen the skin on the chicken breasts to form a pocket. I only had skinless so I just sliced the chicken down the middle to create a flap. Stuff with the ricotta cheese mixture. Arrange the chicken breasts in a single layer in the prepared baking dish, and brush with oil.
  • Bake 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.
ricotta chicken with broc and couscous
the chicken is about to burst with Ricotta!

Of course almost every dinner is followed by some homemade cookies. Unfortunately, my little Hoboken apartment gets way too hot with the oven on so I’ve been trying to cut back on the baking. I’ve stocked up on chocolate chips so when it starts to cool off, my original reason for blogging (to capture my baking ventures) will start to re-appear on here!

Do you like ricotta cheese? What other recipes have you used it in?

Any tips on how to use the remaining half tub I have of it?? I was thinking possible cannoli filling with choc chips?

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