Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Every summer, I get about half-way through and want...chili. Pot Roast. Lamb shanks. I'm a bit perverse, I'm fond of saying. I can't wait for the first grilled chicken and tomato salads. I'm nuts about burgers on the patio in May with zin. But there comes a day when salad looks bleh (stick out tongue) and I don't even much care about that long-awaited burger. I want something real. I want pasta. And I don't want it in a restaurant.
So last year, in January (way ahead), I experimented with a pasta dish that included grilled vegetables and sausage, but I still made a cooked sauce in a pot. A lot of folks have been interested in that post, so here's a continuation...
I had the idea then to create a dish totally done on the grill--much fresher-- and I've now tried it. Even the pasta is cooked on the side burner, if you have one. (If not, buy fresh pasta to cook indoors; it cooks much faster.) I'll amend that; Dave mostly tried it. I designed, orchestrated, cheer leaded, made fresh cheese, and ate it up. The only true heated cooking I did was to saute some garlic in the microwave and warm the milk to make cheese! (5 minutes) Do you have to make cheese? Of course not. Buy ricotta--fresh if you can get it. But I'd love it you made cheese.
I lately have been encouraging cooks to just try making an easy, quick fresh cheese. There isn't much simpler to do and the brief instructions are below. I'll also point out that if you need a lot of ricotta, this is the way to go; you'll save a bunch of cash. To purists, this isn't true ricotta, which is made with all milk; here I add some yogurt. My idea actually is a riff (a mistake I made and liked) from a recipe created by dessert guru and Parisian blogger David Lebovitz. See the original here. (See my first attempts and info on how to make a firmer cheese here.)
Imagine pasta in the summer and no hot kitchen? Try this: