squash and ricotta bake

Wow! This was a great Sunday dinner recipe.  It took a little more time because it required roasting and then a quick return to the oven to melt a cheesy topping.  The little bit of extra time was totally worth it.  I would’ve never imagined that roasted squash paired so well with basil, tomatoes, and mozzarella.  This was truly fantastic!

hope this makes your belly smile…

Adapted from Jamie Oliver

Ingredients
1 large butternut squash, peeled, deseeded, and chopped into bite-size cubes
(tip: microwave the squash whole for 1 minute to make for easier peeling)
3 T. olive oil (divided into 1 T, 2 T)
1 bunch of fresh organic basil, (stem finely sliced, leaves roughly chopped)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 can organic diced tomatoes
Pinch sea salt
1 lb. 100% whole wheat penne pasta
freshly ground black pepper
3 T. organic, whole milk ricotta cheese
3 c. organic vegetable stock
4 oz. mini mozzarella balls (ciliegine)
1 handful Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (ideally)


Directions: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (bake, not convection).  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.  Toss butternut squash cubes with 1 tablespoon olive oil and several pinches of sea salt.  Spread in a single layer on the baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes.

In the meantime, heat a large skillet to medium heat.  Add the olive oil and basil stems and garlic.  Once the garlic becomes fragrant (about a minute), add the diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Stir in the squash after roasting and some freshly ground black pepper.

While the sauce is simmering, bring a pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta.  Undercook the pasta by several minutes before draining (do NOT rinse).  Add the pasta to a slightly oiled baking dish.

To the sauce, stir in the chopped basil leaves and vegetable broth.  Again, bring it to a boil and then reduce it to a simmer.  Stir in the ricotta cheese.  Pour the sauce atop the pasta in the baking dish and gently stir.  Place the mini mozzarella balls in and around the pasta – using your fingers to push it into nooks and crannies.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes or until the mozzarella has melted.  Plate and serve with some freshly grated parmesan cheese and a final drizzle of olive oil.

lemon ricotta pancakes with bacon

Let’s take a moment to talk about Lemon Ricotta Pancakes.  These babies are light, fluffy, and lemony.  When topped with pure maple syrup, these go off the charts! If you’re unsure about your love for lemons, reduce the lemon juice just a bit.  I’m going to say it, but it’s gonna hurt me…you could probably make these without the lemon. The light fluffy texture the ricotta brings would still be great. Note: I can’t be held responsible for what you’re missing out on by omitting the lemony goodness.

hope this makes your belly smile…

Adapted from Sugar and Charm

Dry Ingredients
1 1/2 c. whole white wheat flour
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. sea salt

Wet Ingredients
6 drops of organic, organic liquid stevia (alternatives: ¼ c. honey or pure maple syrup)
1 c. organic milk (ideas: almond milk, cashew milk)
1 organic egg
1 T. organic butter, melted
1 t. organic vanilla extract
1 c.  organic whole milk ricotta cheese
2 lemons, juiced
Zest from 2 lemons

Directions: In a medium bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients.  In a small bowl, stir together the dry ingredients.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.  Stir just until combined – do NOT over stir.  Prepare as you would any other pancakes by adding a small amount of preferred oil to the pan (ideas: coconut oil, olive oil, or organic butter).  Top with pure maple syrup!

Serve with preservative-free bacon.

kale pesto and ricotta pasta

This is such a fast, easy and incredibly flavorful dish that I cannot get enough of!

hope this makes your belly smile…

Adapted from Heather Christo

Ingredients

  • 4 c. organic kale, stems removed
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/8 to 1/4 t. red pepper flakes, depending on your preferred level of spiciness
  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  • ¼ c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1 lb. 100% whole wheat pasta of your choice
  • 4 oz. whole milk ricotta
  • olive oil
  • red pepper flakes

Directions: Prepare the pesto in a food processor.  Add all ingredients, pulsing until combined (but not pureed).  Season with sea salt to taste.  Cook pasta in salted water.  Drain the pasta and return it to the pot in which it was cooked (off heat).  Stir the pesto into the hot pasta.  Plate and top with a generous dollop of ricotta.  Sprinkle with sea salt, a few red pepper flakes, and drizzle with olive oil.  If you like things spicy, add a bit more red pepper flakes.

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