- 3 cups fresh whole milk ricotta cheese 1⅓ pounds
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1½ teaspoons thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
- ¼ teaspoon diagonally sliced chile de árbol
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
I like this baked ricotta warm and slightly underbaked to a soft, creamy consistency. Avoid the grainy, flavorless, commercial ricottas from the supermarket, and seek out a fresh, artisanal version. Bake the cheese in a Spanish style cazuela or small attractive casserole and serve it at the table so your guests can help themselves.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Place the ricotta in a large bowl, and stir in 5 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon thyme, the chopped parsley, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
- Transfer the ricotta to an 8-inch gratin dish or cazuela.
- Gently press the top of the cheese with your fingers to make slight indentations, and decorate the ricotta with the remaining ½ teaspoon thyme and the sliced chile.
- Drizzle the remaining tablespoon olive oil over the top, and bake 30 to 40 minutes, until golden brown on top.