Many recipes using ricotta cheese are for sweets or heavy baked pasta dishes, but ricotta also stars in some simple pasta sauces and other savory treats. Fresh ricotta only makes these better.

Ricotta and vegetables combine to make easy pasta sauces. mcf purées ricotta, roasted red pepper, garlic, and olive oil and tosses with pasta; top with grated Parmesan and chopped parsley. cheesecake17 tosses pasta with ricotta, roasted broccoli, lemon zest, chopped Kalamata olives, salt, and pepper, thinning it with a bit of pasta cooking water.

jen kalb likes a simple Marcella Hazan recipe: Sauté chopped bacon, add baby peas and cook until peas are done; toss with pasta, then mix in ricotta, lots of pepper, and grated Parmesan or Pecorino.

Green Omnivore makes a white pizza with a mixture of ricotta, Parmesan, and mozzarella cheeses spread on the crust; bake the pizza, and when it comes out of the oven, top with arugula dressed with olive oil and lemon juice.

gwendolynmarie suggests combining ricotta, vegetables, and herbs to fill tarts or strudels made with puff pastry or phyllo. maplesugar recommends this herbed ricotta tart.

For crostini or sandwiches, consider CHOW’s Herbed Ricotta Spread

Discuss: Fresh ricotta ideas (no sweets, please)

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