Velvety ricotta with chunky salt and a splash of pepper on toasty bread. How you make this snack depends wholly on what you like. I have my four favourite ways. Here’s the first!
It’s the classic version of a snack my father used to make. It could also be breakfast or lunch or dinner. This one isn’t so much a recipe, in that it’s not that complicated. It’s basically toast. With love on top. There are a lot of ways to eat ricotta (more posts to come!) and a lot of ways to top ricotta on toast. You can even make your own ricotta. You, time and a cheesecloth is all it takes. I’ll let you know if I try my hand at it but for now, I just buy it in a tub – the extra creamy kind. As for the bread, use any kind you like, but if you like the ricotta layer thick, pick a bread that can handle the weight.
My father would pull regular sliced whole wheat bread out of the bag and pop it in the 2-slice pop-up toaster. Sorry if you were hoping for some kind of stone-oven baked hearty-crusted Calabrese number. I like a softer bread for this, with a bit of crunch, but not so much crust that it scrapes the top and sides of your mouth. (Or does that only happen to me?)
There is something ridiculously alluring about the smell of toasted bread. I mean, really, what IS it about that smell?
Anyway, back to the ricotta. My father used to scoop out a bunch and spread it thick, like icing on a cake. I can’t remember now if he put another layer of bread on top or not.
I like it open-faced. Some really great bread, a layer of ricotta and some salt. If you happen to have olive walnut bread, it’s a perfect marriage of salt and crunch. No extra salt required on top, unless, of course, you love it.
Basically, it’s a contadina (peasant) meal. Easy, hearty, warm. Where great pleasure and appreciation can be found in the simplest of things. Every time I have it, I think of my father in that basement kitchen with the low ceiling, awful grey wallpaper on one side, wood panelling on the other and a tiny tv in a corner bookcase.
More often than not, we’d be watching the news. The 2-slice toaster would pop and he’d make me a sandwich.
Here is your RTI:
There is nothing wrong with having a thicker layer of ricotta than bread.
Messy factor. See below.
You’ll want a beverage nearby. Ricotta is rich and if you happen to swallow it by the spoonful, it can need a little help getting down your esophagus into your belly.
- Spoon for preserves/jam
- Napkin. If you’re going with open-faced, the bread may bend under the weight. You may have to eat it pizza-style or calzone-style. Be messy. Somehow it’s far more satisfying than using a fork and knife.
- Bread, any kind you like
- Preserves or salt and pepper or anything you want to top ricotta with
- Toast your bread
- Slather on the ricotta.
- Top it any way you like
Ricotta love just happened right here. Now, be a dear and pass that love along.