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Ricotta Cheesecake with Strawberry Sauce

cheesecake

Making our own fresh ricotta is surprisingly easy, and the result tastes extraordinary. Use a good-quality ricotta for this cheesecake, and make sure to process it well so there are no lumps. You’ll be rewarded with a deliciously light and creamy cake.

 

Ricotta Cheesecake with Strawberry Sauce

For the crust:

3 Tbs. sugar, plus more for sprinkling

4 oz. (125 g.) graham crackers (about 8 crackers)

Pinch of kosher salt

4 Tbs. (2 oz./60 g.) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

4 cups (2 lb./1 kg.) ricotta cheese

1 cup (8 oz./250 g.) sugar

1/4 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g.) all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

4 large eggs

1/3 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g.) creme fraiche

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 tsp. finely grated orange zest

For the strawberry sauce:

1 pint (8 oz./250 g.) strawberries, hulled and sliced

1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g.) sugar

2 Tbs. fresh orange juice

2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F (180°C).

To make the crust, generously butter a 9-inch (23-cm.) springform pan; sprinkle the sides of the pan with sugar, knocking out the excess. In a food processor, combine the graham crackers, 3 tablespoons sugar, salt, and butter and pulse to form fine crumbs. Press the graham cracker mixture evenly onto the bottom of the pan. Bake until the crust is lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Set aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F (165°C).

To make the filling, in a clean food processor, process the ricotta until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar, flour, and salt and process again until smooth. Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula as you go. Add the eggs and process until smooth. Add the creme fraiche, vanilla and orange zest and process until completely combined. Gently pour the filling into the crust-lined pan, being careful not to disturb the crust.

Bake until the filling puffs up slightly and the center jiggles very slightly when the pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely, at least 2 hours. You can also refrigerate the cheesecake for up to 2 days before serving.

Meanwhile, make the strawberry sauce: In a saucepan, simmer the strawberries, sugar, and citrus juices over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the strawberries break down and the sauce becomes a bit syrupy, about 6 minutes. Puree the sauce with an immersion blender or in a blender. Let cool completely or refrigerate until ready to use.

To serve, remove the pan sides and slide the cheesecake onto a serving platter. Pour the sauce over the cake, and serve in thick wedges (you can also serve the strawberry sauce alongside the cake). Makes one 9-inch (23-cm.) cheesecake.

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Recipe Roundup: Fall Pastas

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It’s National Pasta Day! In honor of everyone’s favorite comfort food, we’ve rounded up our favorite seasonal pasta dishes from farfalle to ravioli. Bon appetit!

 

Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage ButterPumpkin Ravioli with Sage Butter
Here is the classic ravioli of the city of Ferrara, in Emilia-Romagna. It’s best served with a simple sauce of lightly browned butter and fresh sage, which heightens and contrasts with the sweetness of the pumpkin in the filling.
Spaghetti with Turkey MeatballsSpaghetti with Turkey Meatballs
This old-fashioned favorite of kids and adults alike gets a healthy makeover with the use of ground turkey rather than beef. Full of flavor from both fresh and dried herbs, it’s sure to become a family favorite.
Baked Rigatoni with Fennel, Sausage and PeperonataBaked Rigatoni with Fennel, Sausage and Peperonata
Golden brown and bubbling, this comforting dish is welcome at the table any time of year. Sweet Italian sausage, colorful bell peppers and fragrant fennel add heft to this baked pasta.
Spaghetti with Garlicky GreensSpaghetti with Garlicky Greens
This tangle of noodles and garlic-laden ribbons of kale and chard is a delicious way to eat your greens. Our recipe calls for whole-wheat spaghetti, which makes it extra healthy.
Fettuccine with Wild MushroomsFettuccine with Wild Mushrooms
Here’s a wonderful way to enjoy wild mushrooms: sauté them with shallots and herbs, toss with tender pasta and crown the dish with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
Agnolotti dal PlinAgnolotti dal Plin
This dish is a great way to utilize meat trimmings from the previous night’s meal — that’s why Chef Thomas McNaughton keeps it on the menu at his restaurant Flour + Water throughout the year. His recipe uses equal amounts of pork, chicken and rabbit for depth of flavor.
Fresh Pappardelle with Sausage, Fennel and RicottaFresh Pappardelle with Sausage, Fennel and Ricotta
Fresh pasta is well worth the extra effort. This recipe from Chef Ari Rosen of Scopa restaurant calls for tossing it with just a few simple ingredients — Italian sausage, ricotta cheese, and fresh fennel — for a special early fall dinner.
Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Roasted SquashWhole-Wheat Spaghetti with Roasted Squash

Pleasantly firm to the bite, whole-wheat spaghetti combines beautifully with a sauce of caramelized onions. A new twist on this classic flavor match is this topping of roasted diced winter squash.

 

Pasta alla CarbonaraPasta alla Carbonara
This Roman pasta dish is made with just a few pantry staples — but when combined in a specific way, they achieve perfection. It’s a great weeknight dish when you’re craving something special.
Roasted Pork Tenderloin with PappardelleRoasted Pork Tenderloin with Pappardelle
Chicken stock and cream, seasoned with garlic and sage, form a savory sauce for this comforting pasta dish. Round out the meal with a simple green salad and country-style bread.
Whole-Wheat Penne with Spicy Roasted CauliflowerWhole-Wheat Penne with Spicy Roasted Cauliflower
Roasting cauliflower caramelizes it and brings out its sweetness. Try it in this spicy, Sicilian-style recipe tossed with whole-wheat pasta, capers and fresh herbs topped with crisp bread crumbs and nutty Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
Pear & Pecorino Ravioli with WalnutsPear & Pecorino Ravioli with Walnuts
The unlikely combination of grated pears and two types of cheeses forms the filling for this beautiful ravioli, which is topped with toasted walnuts for crunch.
Braised Chicken PappardelleBraised Chicken Pappardelle

Tender braised chicken tossed with a tarragon-cream sauce and ribbons of pappardelle makes for a delicious and decadent cool-weather meal. Lemon zest and fresh herbs add a welcome burst of flavor to the dish.

 

Butternut Squash Gnudi with Sage ButterButternut Squash Gnudi with Sage Butter
The Italian name for these light, fluffy dumplings translates to “nude” in English because they resemble the filling of ravioli without the pasta wrapper. Enjoy this dish on its own, or serve with roast chicken and an Italian red wine for a warming meal when the weather turns cold.
Pappardelle with Quick Bolognese SaucePappardelle with Quick Bolognese Sauce

Peppery pancetta, robust Italian tomatoes and fresh thyme embellish this quick version of the traditionally long cooking sauce. Serve it over egg pappardelle or fettuccine, with a mixed greens salad alongside.