Peas With Baked Ricotta and Bread Crumbs
As a lunch or light supper dish, this is a favorite of cookbook author Deborah Madison. To add a little heft but keep things meatless, cook a cup of small pasta shells, and add to the peas.
1 cup top-quality whole-milk ricotta cheese
2 to 3 tablespoons plain fresh bread crumbs
4 teaspoons unsalted butter
2 large shallots or 1/2 small onion, finely diced (about 1/3 cup)
5 small sage leaves, minced (about 11/2 teaspoons)
1 cup freshly shucked peas
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a small baking dish with a little oil.
If the ricotta is wet and milky, drain it in a colander, pressing out any excess liquid. Pack the ricotta into the baking dish and drizzle with a little oil. Bake 20 to 30 minutes, until the cheese has begun to set and brown on top.
Cover the surface with the bread crumbs and bake 10 minutes, until crumbs are browned and crisp and the cheese has set. (It take longer, especially if the cheese is not well-drained.)
When the cheese has set, melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat until foaming. Sauté shallots and sage about 3 minutes, until softened. Stir in the peas, 1/2 cup water and lemon zest. Cook until the peas are bright green and tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Do not overcook. Season with salt and a little pepper.
Divide the ricotta between individual plates, and spoon on peas. Grate Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese over the top. Serve warm. Makes 2 servings.
Source: Adapted from “Vegetable Literacy” by Deborah Madison (Ten Speed).
Per serving: 450 calories, 24 g protein, 36 g carbohydrates, 25 g fat, 15 g saturated fat, 85 mg cholesterol, 270 mg sodium, 9 g fiber, 14 g sugar.