October 20, 2012

Ricotta Cheese Appetizer....Comfort at Home

Chilly Autumn nights are ideal for lighting the fire, curling up with a good book, your favorite chenille blanket and having a date night with your hubby! It seems to be a perfect setting for talking about good times and how much we miss our parents and grandparents. It's warming to your soul to say, "remember when......."

Date nights such as this, often require a hearty appetizer, rather than a complete dinner. This Ricotta Cheese dip, served with good Italian meats and a hot Italian Bread, make an absolutely delicious appetizer!

Baked Ricotta Dip
2 cups whole-milk ricotta cheese
1/2 cup loosely packed Pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated
2 t. finely chopped fresh oregano
Coarse ground black pepper
1 T. olive oil, plus more for coating the baking dish
Crostini or toasted bread, for serving

Heat the oven to 300°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Lightly coat a 2-cup baking dish with olive oil; set aside. Place ricotta, 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the Pecorino Romano, and the oregano in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Transfer mixture to the prepared baking dish, sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons Pecorino Romano, and drizzle with olive oil. Bake until heated through and the Pecorino Romano on top is melted, about 30 minutes. Serve warm with toasted bread or crostini!

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