On the Side, Recipes, Small Bites

Fresh Herb Ricotta Cheese Bread

A no yeast bread that is super quick to prepare! 

Ready in less than an hour, this Herbed Ricotta Cheese Bread is sure to become a favorite!

This quick bread is loaded with fresh herbs, ricotta cheese, and a dash of smoked paprika. 

Ricotta is a fresh, soft, Italian cheese with a small curd and a light, mild, slightly sweet flavor. In the United States, it is most commonly known as an ingredient in lasagna. I honestly love ricotta even just by itself. For this recipe, I decided to use ricotta instead of heavy cream or milk, the ricotta gives the bread a light texture that practically melts in your mouth!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons sugar
  • 5 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter
  • ½ cup green onions or scallions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • ⅔ cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon water (for egg wash)
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • smoked paprika

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. 

Grate butter into the flour mixture and stir with a fork until the consistency of coarse meal.

Stir in scallions and fresh herbs. 

Add ricotta cheese, then add milk and stir until just combined.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. 

Knead 2 to 3 times, then pat dough into a 9-inch rectangle. 

Transfer bread to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush tops liberally with egg wash. Sprinkle top with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and smoked paprika.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until bread is golden brown.

Recipes, Soups

Lasagna Soup Remix

The ultimate comfort food in a bowl!

Who doesn’t love lasagna and a nice salad for dinner? Well how about that dinner but in soup form… that’s exactly what this soup is! I received my inspiration for this recipe from a Publix Apron’s recipe. It’s a quick and easy recipe with easily-found ingredients.

The broth of this soup consists of chicken broth and a jar of your favorite pasta sauce! I mean it doesn’t get much easier than a jar of pasta sauce. When my grandparents, Papa and Meme were not making their own homemade sauce, my Meme would have my Papa buy a jar of Ragu. I know, can you believe it… Ragu! Now, for me my go-to jar is Barilla. But this is your creation so you pick what your go-to sauce is. No judgement!

After browning the ground sausage, you start with “humble beginnings”. Have you ever heard of that? Maybe you have heard of Sofrito, Mirepoix, or the Holy Trinity of cooking. These are all the foundation of some of the world’s greatest dishes. It’s simply a group of vegetables sauteed together, disappearing into the dish as it cooks. But their flavors linger and would most definitely be missed if left out. In this soup, we make a “humble beginnings” of carrot, celery, onion, bell pepper, and garlic to start the soup. 

Most lasagna soup calls for lasagna noodles, you know the long thick noodles that are for a baked lasagna. Well I just don’t agree that those noodles should be in a soup, they end up taking up the whole bowl. So I used a package of Buitoni Three Cheese Tortellini, it usually can be found in the refrigerated section near the cheese. These little tortellinis are stuffed with creamy ricotta, aged Parmesan and Romano. You simply plop them into the soup and you have the noodle and all the delicious cheeses in one bite. 

Do not skip the salad kit’s toppings and dressing, trust me!. I used the Fresh Express Sweet Kale salad kit, it comes with broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, chicory, dried cranberries, roasted pumpkin seeds, poppyseed dressing. That’s 7 superfoods! The cranberries and the poppyseed dressing give the soup a sweet tangy twist, that cuts through the acid from the tomatoes, it’s a delicious combination!! But you can use any salad mix, a Cesar salad kit would be tasty too. If you buy a kit, it comes with everything which means you don’t have to buy a bunch of different ingredients. 

Lastly you plop a nice size dollop of Ricotta cheese into the bowl and you have yourself the perfect one-bowl meal!

Serve on a cold night with a crusty baguette, a glass of Scout and Cellar Fieldhouse Pinot Noir and you are set!

Ingredients

  • 1lb mild ground Italian sausage
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning. 
  • 3 cups or  24 ounce of your favorite  jar pasta sauce
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomato pesto
  • 1 (9 oz) package cheese ravioli
  • 1 (12 oz) Fresh Express Sweet Kale salad kit
  • 1 (12 oz.) low fat ricotta cheese

Instructions

Preheat a large stockpot 2–3 minutes on medium-high. 

Brown sausage 5–7 minutes, stirring to crumble meat, until no pink remains.

Remove sausage and drain pot. 

Add a teaspoon of olive oil to the pot.  

Saute the veggies for about 4 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium-low. 

Stir in pasta sauce, broth, and pesto; simmer 8–10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until hot.

Stir ravioli into soup; cook 4–5 minutes or until ravioli is tender 

Add sausage back to the pot and simmer for one hour. 

Meanwhile, mix the salad kit together, expect the dressing. I personally like to drizzle the dressing over the soup but again totally up to you. This is your creation!

Divide soup evenly among bowls. 

Top each bowl with even amounts salad greens and salad toppings, 

Drizzle the dressing over the top. 

Place a dollop about a tablespoon of ricotta cheese on top and serve.