The culinary star and designer of the Rachael Ray Home Collection shares a showstopping spread
Rachael Ray’s Baked Ricotta with Roasted Grapes
1½ lbs. black seedless grapes
3 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1¾ tsp. coarsely ground black pepper, divided
1¼ tsp. kosher salt, divided
4 cups drained sheep’s whole-milk ricotta cheese
4 oz. pecorino Romano cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
1 large egg
2 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp. lemon zest
Softened unsalted butter for pan
2 tbsp. aged balsamic vinegar
½ cup pistachio nuts, shelled and toasted
1. Preheat oven to 425°. Toss together grapes, shallots, 2 tablespoons oil and ¼ teaspoon each of the pepper and salt on an aluminum-foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Spread in a single layer, and bake until grapes burst and start to shrink down and slump (they should look like fat raisins), 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven, and reduce temperature to 275°.
2. Stir together drained ricotta, grated pecorino, egg, thyme, lemon zest, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, 1½ teaspoons pepper and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl.
3. Butter sides and bottom of an 8- to 9×3-inch round metal fluted tart pan with removable rim or a round ceramic baking dish. Add ricotta mixture, and smooth. Cut parchment paper to fit top of pan, and press into ricotta mixture. Place pan on a baking sheet, and bake until ricotta mixture is springy but firm, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove parchment, and continue to bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes more. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature, about 1 hour.
4. If using pan with removable rim, remove rim, and place ricotta on a serving plate. Pile roasted grape mixture on top of ricotta, and drizzle with balsamic. Sprinkle with pistachios. Serve with crostini.
Active time: 20 minutes
Total time: 2 hours, plus cooling time