I expected this to be more like bread, or perhaps the consistency of pie crust, but I was wrong. It’s much like a savory cheesecake, light and airy but cheesy instead of sweet. It can be made with any herbs you desire, but I used parsley, sage, and rosemary. I think when I make it again, I’ll use basil, thyme, and rosemary. The parsley was enjoyable, but I prefer basil.
I had to wait to make this until I could buy a springform pan. I had a number of recipes that called for one, but they were all waiting on the desire to purchase one to strike me.
I think I needed to cook it just a little bit longer. It was firm to the touch, and the sides had pulled away from the pan, but it was just a little moister than I think it should be. You can see from the photo that it sunk a little bit. I am pretty sure that 5 to 10 extra minutes would have made a big difference in presentation. It tasted great, though, so I’m not too worried about it.
I made this to accompany the Rice and Mozzarella Stuffed Tomatoes, and it too was from The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook. They were a good pairing. I think the addition of a salad would complete the meal well.
The author makes a note for how to substitute different herbs in the torta: use 4 parts of a mild herb (basil, parsley, etc) to 1 part of a stronger or combination of stronger herbs (sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano, etc). 1/4 cup mild herb to 3 teaspoons combined strong herb would be a good measurement to begin with.
Ricotta Torta with Herbs
a 9 inch springform pan
1 T unsalted butter
1/4 c plain bread crumbs
4 c ricotta cheese (I used part skim)
1/2 c Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
3 large eggs, separated
1/4 c fresh parsley, minced
2 t fresh sage, minced
1 t fresh rosemary, minced
salt and pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 375. Butter a 9 inch springform pan and sprinkle the breadcrumbs into the pan, coating each side. Dispose of any extra.
2. Combine the ricotta, Parmesan, egg yolks, parsley, sage, rosemary (or whatever herbs you are using), salt, and pepper to taste in a large bowl.
3. In another large bowl that is completely free of grease or water, beat the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks. Fold the beaten whites into the cheese mixture. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and level the top.
4. Bake until the top of the torta is firm to the touch and golden brown, about 1 hour. Cool to room temperature before removing the sides of the pan and cutting into wedges.
5. Serve and enjoy.