Have you ever wondered what to do with fresh ricotta?Cooking with fresh ricotta doesn’t have to be complicated.
Take fresh ricotta. Mix in lemon zest, chilli, fresh oregano and a handful of Parmesan. Stuff this super flavoured ricotta into mushroom cups before baking until golden and you have the best baked mushrooms stuffed with ricotta you’ll ever eat!
Simple ingredients – great flavour
This is exactly what good Italian cooking is about. The ingredients aren’t fancy or hard to find. Together the flavours absolutely sing and dance in your mouth! I love to use ricotta to stuffed vegetables, in cheesecakes or to make wonderfully light Italian doughnuts.
There’s nothing quite like picking wild mushrooms just after it has rained and the soil is still damp. As a kid, I loved the excitement of finding the ‘right’ mushrooms. We usually looked in the cow paddock. Oh, the smell of wild mushrooms is so good! Just not so good if you pick the ‘wrong’ one. Be very careful.
Old Italian traditions to check for ‘good’ mushrooms
Because Italians love foraging and mushrooms can be tricky, there is a couple of legends that have persisted. Firstly we always looked at the gills underneath – if they were a pinky colour that was good. A ring around the stem. Perfect. But one last test – boil the mushrooms with garlic…if the garlic remained white, all is well. As much as I loved picking mushrooms, I’m not going to recommend these methods because my sister became very ill after all the tests. Now I forage in the supermarket for my mushrooms. Not nearly as much fun but a lot safer!
Baked mushrooms stuffed with ricotta
This recipe is adapted from one of Jamie Oliver’s. Oregano and lemon are the perfect combination, I think. Don’t overcook these mushrooms but if the golden brown tops are lacking colour, give them a flash under a hot grill. Serve these baked mushrooms stuffed with ricotta as an appetiser or a side dish.
Either way, you’ll be buying more fresh ricotta because this is such a great recipe to make again and again.
Baked Mushrooms Stuffed with Ricotta
- 1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
- zest of 1 lemon
- ½ teaspoon chilli flakes optional
- freshly ground pepper
- salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano finely chopped
- ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese plus extra for sprinkling
- 8 large portobello mushrooms
- extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 425°F/220°C
- Place ricotta, lemon zest, chilli (if using), salt and pepper. With a wooden spoon, mash the ricotta and beat to mix well.
- Gently mix in fresh oregano and Parmesan cheese.
- Remove the stalks from the mushrooms.
- Pour a little oil into an oven proof dish that will take the mushrooms in one layer.
- Add salt and pepper.
- Toss the mushrooms in the seasoned oil. Then arrange cup side up in one layer.
- Evenly divide the ricotta mixture among the mushroom cups.
- Sprinkle with extra Parmesan cheese and drizzle with extra olive oil.
- Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes until golden.
- Serve warm.
- Fresh oregano can be substituted with 1 teaspoon of dried oregano.
- Brown under the grill (broiler) if not browned well.