Ricotta Frullata con Mandorle Tostate all'Arancia
Whipped Ricotta Cheese with Orange Toasted Almonds
It is the archetypical cream of this beautiful Mediterranean island it is delicious to boot! Ricotta! You just have to love it! Although that wasn't always the case, but as I and indeed my taste buds have matured, I have learned to appreciate and to love the fresh, delicious flavor of creamy ricotta cheese!
Along with almonds and orange, I think this combination is a wonderful tribute to my lovely little island- especially served up on this traditionally hand-crafted dish! What's not to love? The answer of course is nothing- all you can do is love it!
The best thing about this is how quick and easy it is to make! I chose to use Stevia, but alternatively you can whip the ricotta with powdered sugar, as is the traditional way. Some people have a problem with the consistency of ricotta, as eaten in its raw, fresh form, unsalted or unsweetened, it has a bland and slightly "mealy" feel to it on the tongue. But fear not! Extensive whipping and beating will see to that! I would say that you need to ship the ricotta for at least 5 minutes to make it really nice. I added a little yogurt to mine to make it slightly softer and creamier still- just add it a spoonful at a time until it is the consistency that you like and keep whipping it together... easy!
The almonds went into my frying pan with the zest and the juice of half an orange. I added a nice squeeze of honey and heated the pan up until the juice cooked away, leaving the almonds at first soft and infused with the juice and the zest, but then letting them brown and caramelize slightly from the hint of honey as they begin to dry out and crisp up. You just need to be careful that they don't burn once they do dry out and begin to turn brown... it will happen really quickly!
The combination of the mild and slightly sweetened ricotta and the fruity tanginess of the orange on the crispy almonds is simply wonderful! I served mine up with a sliver of orange and a tiny leaf of mint- and you can't get easier or tastier than that! A perfect taste of Sicily in just 10 minutes or so- do try it out some time... and enjoy!