The Ricotta Diaries is about life in our sensual food-related world. It is music in the background, coming forward in your fast think, your foot tap, your hip sway.
Each of these blogs will contain a recipe and music link so you can sing or—sorry: whistle while you work because your kitchen should be a fun place! (We once painted our restaurant kitchen bright yellow for this reason.)
These forthcoming Ricotta Diaries are about our early days together—big-eyed, young lovers, hippy toe dippers, sophomoric—then wizened—restaurateurs Siamesed together for forty plus years and now with a little insight about relationships.
Almost thirty of these spirited years whirled around Hemingway's, our resto in Vermont. It’s about us being reinvented a few times in our culinary careers. Growing from farm to table—then table to farm, and back 'round from farm to a stove tucked under the shadow of the black bear corridor at the back of the moon.
“Cooked again” is the loose translation of ricotta, a traditional Italian fresh cheese. As a child of Italian immigrants, it was a childhood staple, and now like the Vermont made ricotta we still enjoy, many of these blogs are memories metaphorically cooked again in recollection.
The original Ricotta Diaries began in the Spring of 2009 on Google’s Blogger http://ricottadiaries.blogspot.com
Back then it was about: Vermont, its flora, its fauna, its people, its places, and our history woven into its fabric. Vermont is living in the New World, while experiencing some of the Old. We love it.
And we still do. Blogger only lasted until the end of that year when the world imploded. As the Great Recession took hold in the States we were forced to look for additional income, and we also found friends that became family—there when you need them.
We began consulting, hustling from table to farm, winging skill sets we never knew we had, second guessing until we knew we were on a road—turns out an old dirt road—leading to our destinyation and in hind sight the blogs ahead.
The last post at Blogger, Greener on the Other Side, has an eight-year span as it followed our restaurant hiatus. In between we spent time employed on a farm where the owner’s personal circumstances beamed us up a hill to our small, beloved homestead placed serenely between flora, fauna, with two ponds behind and below. Linda spent that winter re-cooking recipes of our life, creating this new beginning.
Here’s the recipe containing—what else for this re-cooked new blog?—ricotta. When first made at Hemingway’s, we thought it sublime. Delicate shrimp ravioli with cilantro and mint served in a graceful ginger broth wafting Spring.
Read, cook, foot tap, and then clock in with us in Vermont for a hands-on cooking lesson about most anything you wish to learn—or we can come to you. (It’s also an entertaining party idea for bacherlorettes, family, and friends! BYOB)
MUSIC TO COOK BY
Shrimp Filling for Homemade Pasta
2 oz. fresh shrimp, shells on
3 tablespoons ricotta
1/4 teaspoon fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 teaspoon fresh mint, chopped
1 medium clove garlic, minced
pinch of salt
pinch of ground pepper
Peeled, de-vein and mince shrimp. Reserve shells for broth.
In a bowl combine shrimp, ricotta, cilantro, mint, garlic, salt, and pepper.
Mix evenly and refrigerate.
Fill ravioli or tortellini with shrimp filling and when cooked, add to hot broth.
1 small piece fresh ginger root, peeled (about the size of a large macadamia nut)
2 c. seafood stock (optional: use chicken stock)
1-2 small star anise
Add shells to stock and simmer for 10-15 minutes or to your liking. Do not over reduce.
Strain and serve.
Can be made ahead.