This recipe (with slight revisions/omissions) came straight from April 2015 Bon Appetit magazine – Carrot and Ricotta Tart!
Start by washing and peeling 3-4 large carrots, then slice each carrot into thin coins. Peel and thinly slice 2 large shallots (which I used instead of onion.) Heat 2 TBSP olive oil in a skillet and saute the shallot (with Kosher Salt and Black Pepper) until lightly browned (about 5 minutes) then add the carrots and continue cooking for another 2 minutes, then set aside.
Defrost/thaw one sheet frozen Puff Pastry, lightly roll out on parchment paper (just to seal the creases,) and score a one-inch border around the pastry shell. Transfer parchment paper to baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 400F until puffy and light golden brown. Meanwhile, whisk a 15-oz container of Ricotta Cheese with 1/2 cup Heavy Cream. When tart comes out of the oven, spread the ricotta cheese mixture onto the tart, inside the one-inch border. Then top with the carrot/shallot mixture – and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes until pastry shell is a deep golden brown. (Carrots will also be cooked through at this point.) When the tart comes out of the oven, sprinkle with fresh chopped chives, and additional (Kosher or Sea) salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cool, cut, and serve! (Note: You end up with a thick layer of ricotta mixture on this tart. If you prefer a thinner layer, you might be able to stretch these same ingredients into two pastry tarts.)
This served as an interesting, creative, and delicious start to our friend Christine’s birthday dinner! Buon Appetito!
Until recently, I had never eaten spaghetti squash, let alone cook with it. I recently shared an appetizer of Spaghetti Squash Parmesan with my friend Sylvia and I was hooked! Check out my take on this easy, delicious, and nutritious (I’m sure) recipe:
Wash and cut (lengthwise) one spaghetti squash. With a tablespoon, scoop out and discard seeds and stringy interior from center of squash. Lightly coat cut surface and interior with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and black pepper. Place cut side down on parchment lined sheet pan and bake for 45 minutes to one hour at 375F. You’ll know it’s ready when a knife can be easily inserted into the center of the squash. Let cool for 10-15 minutes until you can comfortably handle the squash. Using the tines of a fork, scrape along the interior (down to the skin) of the squash, peeling away ‘spaghetti-like’ strands of squash. Remove to a bowl and toss with the red sauce of your choice and 2-3 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Once squash is well coated with sauce, scoop back into the squash shells, top with Mozzarella cheese, return to parchment lined baking sheet – and continue baking at 375F for another 10-15 minutes (until cheese is melted.)
Let stand to cool for a few minutes – and enjoy! Pair with a mixed salad, crusty Italian bread, and a glass of red wine! Delicioso!