MIXED BERRY-RICOTTA-SOUFFLE OMELETTES

Anything with berries lights my guys’ appetites. Yes, they hesitated when I told them I was stuffing an omelette with those juicy beauties, but–hey– they gave it a try. And loved it. Thumbs up!

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1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

10 egg whites

2 tbsp honey

2 tsp cornstarch

1 tbsp vanilla extract

4 tsp butter, divided

2 cups mixed berries (I used frozen and thawed)

1) In small bowl, beat ricotta cheese until smooth; set aside

2) In large bowl, beat egg whites until they form soft peaks; gently fold in ricotta cheese, honey, cornstarch, vanilla extract until just combined

3) To large, non-stick skillet, add 1 tsp butter and melt over medium heat; spread one-fourth of omelette mixture in skillet (about 8″ diameter, leaving a minimum 1″ clear around edges); cook 3-4 minutes until lightly browned, flip and cook 2 more minutes; scatter one-fourth of mixed berries over top, fold omelette over, and cook additional 2 minutes to warm berries through; transfer omelette to plate and repeat for remaining three omelets (Note: to speed process, use two skillets; and, yes, you may need to send the omelettes on a quick trip to the microwave before serving); serve with or without maple syrup

Servings: 4

ARTICHOKE-LEMON-RICOTTA STUFFED PASTA SHELLS

This Artichoke-Lemon-Ricotta pasta dish went over surprisingly well considering the absence of meat (my guys do like their beef, poultry, pork, and seafood). If not that it was just the three of us tonight, there wouldn’t have been a morsel left. But guess what’s for lunch tomorrow. Lucky me!

Artichoke-Lemon-Ricotta Pasta Shells

spray olive oil

1 tbsp olive oil

6 tbsp butter, divided

1 red onion, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

8 oz marinated artichokes, drained and chopped

1/4 cup white cooking wine

3/4 cup shredded Parmesan-Romano blend cheese

2 egg yolks, lightly beaten

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, divided

1 tsp sea salt, divided

1/2 tsp ground black pepper, divided

3 tbsp all-purpose flour

1-1/2 cups milk

1/2 cup ricotta cheese

18-20 jumbo pasta shells, cooked al dente

1 tbsp minced parsley

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees; lightly oil a casserole dish (I used a 10×10) with olive oil spray

2) To large skillet add 1 tbsp olive oil and 3 tbsp butter (reserving 3 tbsp); heat over medium-high and, when butter melts, add onion, red bell pepper, and artichoke; cook, stirring often, 7-8 minutes until vegetables soften

3) Reduce heat to medium, add cooking wine, and cook 3 minutes; stir in parmesan-romano cheese, egg yolks, 1 tbsp lemon juice (reserving 1 tbsp), 1/2 tsp salt (reserving 1/2 tsp), and 1/4 tsp pepper (reserving 1/4 tsp), and immediately remove from heat; transfer mixture to a bowl and set aside

4) To large skillet, add reserved 3 tbsp butter and melt over medium heat; scatter flour over butter and whisk until smooth; gradually add milk, whisking until smooth and sauce thickens; stir in ricotta, reserved 1 tbsp lemon juice, reserved 1/2 tsp salt, and reserved 1/4 tsp pepper; remove from heat

5) Pour half the sauce in bottom of casserole dish; fill each pasta shell with about 1 tbsp artichoke mixture and arrange over sauce; pour remaining sauce over shells; cover dish with foil and bake in oven 25 minutes; remove foil and bake additional 10 minutes; remove from oven, sprinkle with parsley, and serve

Servings: 4-6