Working Girl’s Baked Ricotta

Working Girl's Baked Ricotta

Faced with a mountain of home-made ricotta, I turned to my recipe books for something a bit different. I found the inspiration for this recipe in an old M & S book called Viva Italia! As you can well imagine, M & S did not call it ‘Working Girl’s Baked Ricotta’ but given that many of the ingredients were the same as those of the classic Pasta Puttanesca, I threw in some red chillies for good measure and renamed it. I struggled with the renaming bit. ‘Whore’s Baked Ricotta’ sounded a bit rude, as did Nigella’s translation of ‘Slut’s’. And so I went with Jamie’s ‘Working Girl’s’, which I realise sounds like a bad eighties film but at least it won’t scare the horses or provide any more encouragement to the ‘cheese soft porn’ visitor.

It’s very easy to make but less easy to decide how to serve. M & S have it as antipasti, which is probably good advice as it’s not something you’d want to eat a huge amount of. This isn’t to say it tastes bad just, well, a bit strange. It’s the kind of dish you taste, pull a bit of a face at and then return to every five minutes for the next hour to scoff a bit more. I’m not selling it to you here, am I? I did stir a large amount into some warm pasta, which was very nice, as was some spread onto fresh bread. Just what you need after an, um, hard day’s work.

puttanesca ingredients


250g ricotta cheese
2 eggs
2 sun-dried tomatoes, hydrated in boiling water and chopped
6 black olives, roughly chopped
1 tbsp salted capers, roughly chopped
1 dried red chilli, deseeded and chopped
12 fresh young bay leaves
Salt and pepper to season
Butter, to grease the ramekins

Pre-heat the oven to 190˚C / 170˚C fan-assisted / Gas Mark 5.

Push the ricotta through a sieve into a bowl.

baked ricotta

Beat in the eggs and then stir in the tomatoes, olives, capers and chilli. Season well.

Butter four small ramekins. Arrange three bay leaves in each and chill the ramekins to keep the leaves in place.


Spoon in the ricotta mixture and put the ramekins on a baking tray.


Bake the cheeses for 20 minutes until set. Leave to cool down and then chill them in the fridge. Turn them out onto plates and serve as you please (or just keep sneaking back for the odd nibble…)



Filed under Cheese Recipes

22 responses to “Working Girl’s Baked Ricotta

  1. I must confess to a sneaking fondness for the film Working Girl and I love puttanesca sauce. I think these sound really rather good. I’ve got some ricotta lurking in the fridge, I think I’ll give them a go, thanks.

  2. Wonderful dish and presentation! Made me feel hungry…

  3. Debbie Spivey

    Mountains of ricotta? That’s awesome! These look so yummy!

  4. Love Ricotta, so versatile. Great name choice 🙂 In Italian we call something like this Sformato. Sounds nice w/ the puttanesca twist 😉

    • It’s an interesting one, still not sure whether I like it or not, although I usually love the puttanesca ingredients in anything. Hadn’t heard of Sformato but, yes, it sounds similar, not as airy as a soufflé.

  5. Niiiiicce! I will try the smooth side of things with the seive for sure. I made a beetroot ricotta bake. Dark red goodness! You were right about me having vats full of the stuff now that I am the ricottacheesemaker person.

  6. andreamynard

    Good for you having a mountain of home-made ricotta, just as I have nothing curdling in the kitchen you’re making me feel like reaching for the rennet. Very entertaining post as always.

  7. Sounds Intruiguing. You could also add cooked pasta at the baking tage for something more substantial, I think. Not that I currently need to be thinking about anymore things to do with fresh cheese 😉

    • I did prefer it stirred through pasta, that was really nice. I’m not sure I’m a fan of eating just a big lump of baked cheese. Glad you’re having fun with the cheese – go on, order some cultures and rennet 😉

  8. “faced with a mountain of homemade ricotta”…….Brilliant!!! And inspiring 🙂

  9. I made a version of this today, but using a few herbs and chilli flakes and all the stray bits of cheese I had lurking in the fridge. It was delicious – in fact my husband ate two of them one after the other. Success!

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