Ricotta with Saba and Fresh Strawberries
You must try this simple yet delicious dessert it's a combination of 2 classic Italian ingredients ricotta and saba. I was intrigued by this dessert when I interned at the restaurant Amerigo dal 1934 in Savigno, Italy. I watched Roberto skillfully place a layer of sheep’s milk ricotta on a plate then christened it with saba; the waiter immediately took it and disappeared with it into the dining room. I was curious, was it further embellished there? No. It was a vibrant combination of sweet, tart and creamy. It seemed it may be rich yet was surprisingly delicate.
Now back in Napa with some of the most amazing tasting fruits I had to make it. It’s a snap to put together using Bellwether Farms ricotta and Giuseppe Giusti’s saba. The key to this recipe is to use the best quality of ricotta and saba.
I used strawberries and white nectarines to glide through the ricotta and saba. This is a perfect way to celebrate all the wonderful summer fruits. You may find yourself sneaking into the fridge with a spoon to scoop a bit ricotta and drizzle with saba for a midnight snack.
1 pint strawberries
1 pound whole-milk ricotta
8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) Saba*
1. If the ricotta seems too liquid line a strainer with cheesecloth or a coffee filter. Place the ricotta in the lined strainer over a bowl and refrigerate for several hours to drain the excess moisture. If you use Bellwether Farms ricotta it doesn't need to be strained.
2. Rinse the strawberries, and then lay them in a single layer on paper towels to dry.
3. Whisk or use an electric mixer beat the ricotta in a medium bowl until fluffy. Using a small off-set spatula smear the ricotta onto a small plate about six inches in diameter. Pour as much saba over the ricotta as you like.
4. Place the berries in a bowl to share or in individual bowls. Serve immediately.
*You can find saba in better food stores. Saba is made only with grapes, actually, the ingredients on the label will read “cooked grape must” or mosto cotto d’uva. Think of thick molasses of grapes, there’s no sugar added. Its flavor is sweet with a hint of tartness and balanced with a zing of acidity.
Copyright © Julie Logue Riordan, Cooking with Julie