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Baci Di Ricotta
(recipe, Nigella Lawson)
I don't deny that having to stand stoveside frying 30 teaspoons of ricotta at the end of dinner is a slight drawback, but these are so good, I really do think it's worth it. Besides, there's no getting around it. Somehow, that makes things easier for me. I just accept what has to be done, and get on with it. I wouldn't want to have to get up in the middle of some formal dinner and start deep-frying (or maybe I would; escape can be appealing for both host and guest at those sorts of gathering), but when it's just a case of your friends sitting around a table, it's not such a big deal. Go easy on the drink over dinner, though.
- 1 cup ricotta
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1½ tsp. baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 2 tsp. confectioners' sugar, to serve
- Put the ricotta and eggs into a bowl and beat until smooth. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, sugar, and vanilla extract. Beat the mixture to make a smooth batter.
- Fill a wide, shallow pan with about ¾ inch of oil. Heat the pan of oil until a tiny blob of batter sizzles when dropped into the hot fat.
- Drop rounded teaspoons of the ricotta batter into the pan, about five or six at a time. Don't be tempted to make them bigger, boring though this is; they will puff up on cooking. You need to turn them over quite quickly, so it's best to do a few at a time. You don't want to get too frantic around all that hot fat. As they turn a golden brown, flip them over and leave them for a minute or so on the other side.
- As you lift them out of the pan, place the cooked baci di ricotta on some paper towels, just to remove the excess oil. Then pile the balls of heat-bronzed ricotta on to a plate in a rough-and-tumble pyramid shape, and push the confectioners' sugar through a small sieve evenly but thickly over them. Eat straightaway.