Never again will I make any sort of quiche or egg-based tart without using ricotta! It makes the eggs ridiculously light and fluffy. The ricotta melts right into the eggs so you can’t really tell the two apart – you can just tell it’s like eating a cloud. Not that I’ve ever eaten a cloud, but I imagine it’s probably something like this. Perhaps a cloud is a bit wetter.
I will also never again make a quiche that doesn’t use filo pastry as the crust. It’s so much easier than making your own pastry – and it’s even easier than rolling shop-bought pastry! It gives a perfectly crispy crust but it’s still thin enough to make sure the filling is the star of the show.
I think filo sometimes has a bit of a bad reputation – some people seem to think it’s really fiddly and hard to use. I hear a lot of “if you don’t keep it moist every single second it will dry out and you won’t be able to use it and your cooking will be ruined! Ahhhh!” So not true. Here’s a little story about how ridiculous I am: I used the first half of this roll of pastry to make my spinach and ricotta strudel and then the rest sat in the fridge, very (very) poorly wrapped for well over a week before I bothered to use it up. Sure, it was a tiny bit brittle where it had been exposed to the air, but was it ruined? Not at all. The great thing about filo is that since you’re going to layer it up anyway, it doesn’t matter at all if one or two of your layers have a little tear in them. You’re actually encouraged to just slap another bit of pastry on top to cover the hole. Slapdash cooking at its finest. So don’t be afraid! Filo is easy really.
(plus it gives a perfect ‘rustic’ edge to your crust, and we all know how I like making things look rustic. Far less effort than making things look neat.)
I love how elegant this tart looks – it’s easy to make, but I think it would still be pretty great for serving at a dinner party. You could even make little individual versions to serve as an appetiser. It’s good hot or cold, too, so doesn’t give you any stress about making sure everything’s ready at the same time.
Look! Look at the fluffiness!
Anyway, I’ll calm down now while you go and fish that leftover filo from the back of your fridge. It can’t be just me.
- 75g filo pastry
- Spray oil (or a little melted butter if you prefer)
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 125g ricotta cheese
- Black pepper
- 3tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 large tomato, thinly sliced
- Preheat the oven to 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F).
- Lightly grease a pie dish (mine measured 9 inches in diameter), and cover it with a sheet of filo – press gently into the bottom of the dish. Spray lightly with oil (or brush with butter if you prefer), and add another layer of pastry – you can place each sheet at a different angle if you need to fill gaps. Continue alternating oil and pastry until your whole pie dish is covered with at least 3 layers of pastry (I think I ended up with more like 4). If you want, you can neaten up the edges of the pastry a little – I tore off any particularly large corners, but left it looking quite rough.
- Pour the lightly beaten eggs into the pastry, and dot with teaspoon-sized dollops of ricotta. Season quite generously, then sprinkle with the chopped parsley and lay the tomato slices on top.
- Bake for around 25 minutes, until the egg is set and the pastry is crispy. Serve hot or cold.
More recipes using ricotta:
Creamy leek and parsley pasta
Spinach and ricotta dumplings
Ricotta and black bean stuffed peppers
Ricotta and caramelised onion frittata
Spinach and ricotta pitta bread pizza from Mess Makes Food
Lemon ricotta pancakes with blueberry sauce from Damn Delicious