If you read this blog often, you obviously are smart, have a great sense of humor, AND you know my obsession with cooking everything from scratch.
You probably also know that I like simple and quick recipes — because you and I don’t have much time to spend in the kitchen on weeknights.
Even more so when it’s freezing outside (btw, why does it have to be this cold people?) and all we want to do is crawl on the sofa, wrap ourselves in the warmest, softest of blankets and read a good book.
Talking about books, I just finished reading “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins and I can’t recommend it enough.
A psychological thriller that will force you to turn the pages and go on, non-stop.
I don't want to tell you anything about it because I don't want to spoil it for you, but if you’re looking for a good read, look no further.
Anyways, back to the recipes.
As mentioned, I like quick and simple recipes that taste spectacular, and that are also fun to make and eat. “Uncomplicated and tasty”, that’s my motto.
Then there are those recipes that I like to label as “Convivial Recipes”, because they’re the best when you have a get together at your home.
This Thai Pork and Zoodle Salad is a great example: served on a large platter so that guests can customize their meal.
The same goes for a wholesome eggplant gratin, a eggplant parm quinoa bake, or a caramelized cauliflower and mushroom casserole.
Lately, I’ve fallen in love with these ricotta fritters served in a toothsome marinara sauce. The perfect quick recipe to make when entertaining friends.
If you haven’t made ricotta fritters before, you’ll be surprised by how easy they are.
Just few ingredients mixed together and you’ve got yourself a fantastic batter.
Cooking them might take a bit of practice at first. Just like making crepes or pancakes.
But once you got the hang of it, you’ll be flipping the fritters like a charm.
At first I thought they would dematerialize once dunked in the marinara sauce. But no, these fritters are tougher than they look.
And it’s super cool that you can just bring the big pan to the table and everybody can just help themselves.
Mmmmm fritters. I guarantee, this is so delish, and you'll get raves with every bite.
1 large egg
2 cups / 14.1 oz / 400 gr ricotta cheese
Zest of 1 lemon
½ cup / 1.4 oz / 40 gr grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon almond flour*
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon baking powder
* alternatively you can use gluten-free flour (or whole wheat flour)
1 (28 oz / 800 gr) can whole peeled tomatoes (I used Muir Glen)
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves,
1 small dried whole chile, or a pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 large fresh basil sprig
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Chopped fresh basil
Crack the egg into a large bowl, add ricotta, ground nutmeg, lemon zest, baking powder, grated Parmesan, and almond flour. Mix until well combined.
Heat a nonstick frying pan over low heat and grease it with oil.
To make fritters, drop 2 heaping tablespoons of ricotta mixture and gently spread it a bit with the back of the spoon, cover with a lid and cook for about 2 minutes until nice and golden.
With the help of a large spatula gently flip the fritter and cook covered for 2 minutes on the other side. Transfer to a plate to cool.
I recommend making 2 - 3 fritters at a time maximum. They tend to break quite easily as they cook so you need to be extremely careful when flipping them and it’s better to have only a few to watch.
To make the marinara, pour tomatoes (including the juice) into a large bowl and crush with your hands.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When it is hot, add garlic. As soon as garlic is sizzling (do not let it brown), add the tomatoes with the juice, whole chile or red pepper flakes (if using) and salt. Stir.
Place basil sprig, including stem, on the surface (like a flower). Let it wilt, then submerge in sauce.
Simmer sauce until thickened, about 15 to 20 minutes. Discard basil and chile (if using). Taste and adjust seasoning.
To serve, place ricotta fritters on top of the sauce, then scatter with chopped fresh basil (or parsley), kalamata olives, and serve with lemon wedges.
One serving yields 410 calories, 30 grams of fat, 14 grams of carbs, and 22 grams of protein.