Lately, I’ve had ricotta on my mind. I’m not sure why. Aside from the fact that it is delicious, which is reason enough, I cannot recall any recipes or meals from which this craving has sprung. But it’s here, and I’m happy to play along. Yesterday, Ben, Joan and I went out for lunch and shared two pasta dishes – one, a creamy mushroom pappardelle, and the other, a pumpkin, spinach and ricotta lasagne. After lunch, I ducked to the shops and bought a tub of ricotta, and as we drove home, I informed Ben that I had grand plans for our Sunday breakfast.
This morning, as soon as we were woken by Joan and before I had even grabbed a jumper to stay cozy in this unseasonably cold weather, I walked down the hall and into the kitchen to turn on the oven. I then ran back to the bedroom and helped Joan in her endeavour to tickle Ben awake. She loves to tickle these days, though she doesn’t quite appreciate that in order to complete the act, you need to touch the person. Joan’s tickle involves her wriggling her hands near our necks and over our heads while saying, “dii dii dii dii dii!”. After getting up for good (and rugging up good), we settled in the kitchen. Ben prepped a smoothie for Joan, and I sliced a bunch of tomatoes and onions from the farm and popped them in a baking tray. After cloaking them in olive oil and a gentle seasoning of just sea salt and black pepper (we had no basil or oregano on hand), I placed them in the oven to slowly roast. Ben and I munched on walnuts while the three of us played with Joan’s toy cars. I attempted to fold laundry, but the noise kept pulling me back to my two babes. A little while later, in place of an extra cup of coffee, we pulled our beanies out of an old suitcase at the top of my wardrobe and went for a brisk walk. While outside, we planned travel adventures that may never happen but are fun to plan all the same.
“Breakfast won’t be long”, I announced as we walked through the front door. Your sense of smell informs you when the slow-cooked tomatoes are ready. You wait for the stage when the aroma is sweet and the thought of holding off any longer feels unbearable. I popped slices of my Dad’s sourdough in the toaster and warmed milk for our coffee. When the toast went “pop!”, as Joan says, I placed a generous spoonful of ricotta in the middle of each slice. I then topped the ricotta with a few slow-cooked tomatoes and onions, before finishing it all with a good drizzle of the pan juices. It’s a simple preparation, but the results are enriching. I’ll be using the remaining tomatoes in a pasta sauce tonight, that is, if there are any left when I return to the kitchen after typing this post.