We really enjoy gathering as a family for Sunday dinner. This weekend we had a guest from Seattle, my cousin from Raymond, as well as friends from Speargrass. It was unfortunate that my son was working through the dinner hour. Lots of leftovers though! Along with friends from Speargrass, come two red dachshunds, Harry and Milo. They seemed to be the hit of this gathering!
On the menu last evening: a large cross rib roast, wild mushroom gravy, wild and long grain rice, broccoli and fresh green beans and we enjoyed a new recipe for leek and ricotta on puffed pastry! This was enjoyed immensely and will be included in future feasts! Thanks, Jenn! Thanks to family and friends for providing the wine. All was topped with strawberries and whipped cream on angel food cake. (Will you whip the cream, Elma?)
In the case that any of my readers would like to try the new recipe, here it is.
Leek and ricotta pie is a simple dish commonly served on the tables of homes and small restaurants in central Italian areas like Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio. Individual leek and ricotta pies make an excellent first course for an elegant meal, or can be turned into an exceptional light lunch along with a green salad, a loaf of hot Italian bread and a plate of oil-cured olives. Serve with a glass of white wine rich with aromas and flavors of dried flowers, dried herbs and almonds.
Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Things You’ll Need:
- 2 tbsp. virgin olive oil
- 4 leeks, white part only, chopped
- 1 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lb. frozen puff pastry, thawed at room temperature
- 2 tbsp. minced fresh chives
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a heavy sauté pan. Add the leeks and chopped fresh thyme and cook, stirring regularly for eight to 10 minutes or until the vegetables are soft but not browned. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
Push the ricotta cheese through a medium sieve over a large bowl. (I didn’t do this sieve thing) Add the beaten eggs, reserving 2 tbsp. in a small bowl for later use. Beat the eggs with the ricotta, and add the leeks. Mix well and season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
Roll out the puff pastry until about ¼-inch thick on a lightly floured work surface. Cut out eight rounds, four of them about 4 inches in diameter and four slightly larger than the first group. (I created a great big long pastry that I later sliced and served from the pan.) Into the center of the smaller pastry rounds, spoon a quarter of the ricotta mixture. Dampen the edges of the pastry rounds and place the large ones over the top. Pinch the sides shut with your fingers and brush the tops with the remaining beaten eggs.
Place the pastries on a baking sheet and bake for 20 to 24 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for five to seven minutes. Transfer the pies to individual serving plates and garnish with fresh minced chives. Serve immediately.