With an intention to make a ricotta cake, I ended up buying double the portion of ricotta that I needed for the cake the other day so I had to use my imagination to come up with a good use for the leftover ricotta. Not too difficult a task – there are so many different uses and delicious recipes requiring ricotta cheese as an ingredients so all I needed to do was to pick one amongst the many. Not an easy task at all!
I finally and after long deliberations with myself settled for these savory ricotta tartlets and they turned out extremely nice. – They make an excellent starter or are great for a tapas night!
Ingredients (for 6 to 8 tartlets):
For the crust:
- 200 grams of flour
- 100 grams of (cold) butter, cut into cubes
- pinch of salt
- 1 egg yolk
- 3 to 4 tablespoons of water
For the filling:
- 500 grams of ricotta
- 2 eggs
- ground nutmeg (1 – 2 teaspoons)
- 125 grams of rocket (rucola), finely chopped (keep a few leaves for decoration)
- 5 to 6 sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
- ca. 50 grams of parmesan, grated
- For decoration (per 2 tartlets): 1/2 tablespoon of pine nuts, a few leaves of rocket
Preparing the crust:
- Sift the flour onto a baking mat.
- Add the butter and rub between your hands until you obtain a crumble.
- Add the egg yolk, salt and 1 tablespoon of water and knead quickly into a smooth dough. Keep adding tablespoons of water bit by bit until you obtain a smooth dough.
- Form a ball and wrap into cellophane. Refrigerate for a minimum of 1/2 hour.
- Butter 6 to 8 tartlet pans and dust with cornflour or semola.
- Thinly roll out the dough and cut out round pieces to fit the tartlet molds.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Prick the bottoms of the crust or weigh down with pie weights. Bake for 12 minutes, then remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 170 degrees Celsius.
Preparing the filling:
- With a balloon whisk, beat the ricotta until smooth.
- Add the eggs and keep beating until combined and very smooth.
- Fold in a generous portion of freshly ground nutmeg.
- Fold in the rocket, sun-dried tomatoes and parmesan.
- Fill the tartlets with the mixture, smooth down the tops a bit and bake for approximately 30 to 40 minutes.
- Roast the pine nuts in a non-stick frying pan over medium to high heat (no oil added) for approximately 1 to 2 minutes.
- Serve decorate with some rocket leaves and sprinkle with the roasted pine nuts.
- Enjoy warm.