Ricotta + Italian sausage = ?
July 31, 2012 10:46 AM   Subscribe

I have hot Italian sausage and ricotta cheese. Help me make a delicious dinner! Difficulty level: no pasta.

I have half a tub of ricotta cheese left over from a pizza-bake casserole (so I'm pretty sick of red sauce, otherwise this would be easy), and I also have four hot Italian sausages. Instinct suggests that these will go together, but I'm not finding much beyond lasagna. Got any recipes or ideas for me?

Note that I'm on a no-starch diet, so I can't eat pasta, potatoes, and bread/pie crust/etc. Veggies, dairy, eggs, and meat are fine! I'd prefer something relatively simple which lends itself to leftovers, as I've got to make this after work. Thanks!
posted by vorfeed to Food & Drink (20 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Not so much in the way of leftovers, but quite simple to make: that sounds like the basis of a kickass omelet.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:52 AM on July 31, 2012 [5 favorites]

I would make an ad hoc Italian stir-fry. Slice sausages into rounds, fry, remove from pan. Add diced zucchini, bell peppers, onion, garlic (whatever floats your boat). Cook until soft and fragrant. Add sausage back in. Serve with a dollop of ricotta on top.
posted by purpleclover at 10:52 AM on July 31, 2012 [4 favorites]

My immediate thought was "stuff something with it," like a pepper or zucchini. If you google stuffed ____ sausage ricotta you'll get a ton of recipes. I can't vouch for this one, but it's the general idea.

Can you eat quinoa? If you can, add quinoa. I find it makes stuffed veg things seem much more fulfilling.
posted by phunniemee at 10:52 AM on July 31, 2012 [4 favorites]

I'm thinking this calls for Squash.

Spagetti squash is the obvious choice, but I think a nice yellow squash cut thin, grilled or roasted, and then layered with chunk of the ricotta and sausage would make a nice faux lasagna.
posted by bswinburn at 10:53 AM on July 31, 2012 [2 favorites]

Mix ricotta with a little parmesan. Spread some of this on a roll.
Grill sausage and serve on the roll with sauteed peppers and onions.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:53 AM on July 31, 2012 [3 favorites]

How about a delicious frittata? Add in a little garlic, sautéed or caramelized onions, and some roasted peppers and I bet that will be ridiculously delicious.
posted by anonnymoose at 10:53 AM on July 31, 2012 [5 favorites]

I'd try a crustless quiche. Add the hot pepper, maybe some red and green onions. Ricotta on top.
posted by specialagentwebb at 10:54 AM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

Crustless quiche, homeslice!

- Brown and crumble that sausage, drain off the excess fat.
- Beat a half-dozen eggs with a whisk until smooth, gradually beat in the ricotta until well-incorporated.
- Dice up any fresh veggies that look good right now, briefly soften in a hot skillet.
- Dump everything into a greased casserole dish, bake at 350 until a puffy, browned and a knife inserted in the center has no eggy goo on it.
posted by julthumbscrew at 10:55 AM on July 31, 2012 [4 favorites]

looks like anonymoose beat me to it. And I meant red and green peppers, not onions.
posted by specialagentwebb at 10:55 AM on July 31, 2012

Sausage and peppers? Saute sausage, remove from pan. Saute onions and peppers until soft, add sausage back in. Mix in ricotta if you think it needs "sauce", or don't.

On preview: egg based suggestions sound great, too!
posted by hungrybruno at 10:56 AM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

Can you eat eggplant? I would make something like this low-carb eggplant parmesan, with sausage instead of hamburger.

I usually use canned tomato (or, this time of year, local tomatoes) sauteed with tons of garlic and a little basil in lieu of jar sauce, which tends to be sweetened.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:04 AM on July 31, 2012

Supercook was invented for times like these.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:04 AM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

This is my favorite spicy sausage recipe, I actually made this last night.

Get quinoa started (I make it in the rice cooker like rice).

Sauté a half onion and a couple cloves of garlic (minced) in olive oil.
Dice 2 tomatoes and add to pan. Add a little tomato sauce or paste if you like, not necessary.
Slice up sausage and add to pan.
Slice up a half-can (or full can if you like) of artichoke hearts, add to pan.
Chop up a big handful of spinach and gently fold into mixture.
If you have fresh basil or oregano, add it now.
Taste, maybe add a squeeze of lemon juice, and some hot sauce.
You can either add the cooked quinoa into the pan and fold it in, or put the mix on top.
At the last moment, fold in the ricotta cheese - you want it lumpy in the mix.

Top with a bit of grated parmesan when plated.
posted by lizbunny at 11:32 AM on July 31, 2012 [3 favorites]

You can totally make "noodles" out of summer squash and zucchini, especially young ones where the seeds are small. Sometimes a mandoline will have an attachment that cuts vegetables into long thin strips like that; if not, you can use a vegetable peeler to make broad noodles by dragging it across the whole squash.

Something like lasagne will be too wet from the moist squash, but you could do a good "noodles" and ragu.
posted by gauche at 11:33 AM on July 31, 2012

I find that nearly any pasta topping-- especially a relatively rich one, like sausage and ricotta-- goes well with ribbons of sliced, cooked kale.

If it were me, I'd slice the kale into ribbons, toss it in a bit of olive oil, and roast it (350 for 15-20 minutes or until done).

I'd slice and saute the sausages (chopped onion, garlic, and crushed red pepper would be a natural here), maybe deglaze the pan with a little bit of white wine, and then add the ricotta to the hot sausage mix, stirring to create a thick, creamy, sauce. Then toss with the roasted kale and add a healthy amount of black pepper.
posted by willbaude at 11:38 AM on July 31, 2012 [2 favorites]

You've just pretty much described my supper!

I'm taking it and stuffing it in hollowed-out zucchini and pattypan squash. For the filling, I'll mix some of the squash (chopped up finely) with chopped peppers, onions, sausage, and cheese. I'll be tossing in some quinoa, but I see no reason you can't skip that. Mix together, bake, serve with sliced tomatoes. You can put red sauce over the stuffed squash if you want. It's delicious!
posted by MeghanC at 11:51 AM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

Gnudi and your sausage. You can replace the spinach with any green, really.
posted by oflinkey at 12:04 PM on July 31, 2012 [2 favorites]

Oops, I forgot to mention, I don't really use the flour when I make gnudi. They are much looser and a little harder to move around, but not at all difficult to eat.
posted by oflinkey at 12:07 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

I second frittata.
posted by madcaptenor at 12:31 PM on July 31, 2012

My recipe also works fantastic with feta cheese instead of ricotta :)
posted by lizbunny at 3:06 PM on July 31, 2012

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