Ricotta-tomato pie

Tonight I made ricotta-tomato pie as part of our dinner. This is one of those “gosh, it’s so easy, I almost feel guilty!” recipes. It’s perfect for late spring or summer, when heirloom tomatoes and fresh basil are readily available. And it’s a perfect dish for a family or group vacation at the beach or the mountains, when you want to fix something that everyone will enjoy.


For this, you’ll need just a handful of ingredients: 2 cups (500 grams) of ricotta cheese, 3 eggs, cherry tomatoes, 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese (or a combo of parmesan and Parmegiano-Reggianno); one pastry pie crust (homemade or store-bought); about one tablespoon of chopped basil leaves; (not shown) salt and pepper to taste.


I happened to find heirloom cherry tomatoes at the store. Here they are, along with some fresh basil leaves from my container garden. Aren’t they beautiful?


And the eggs are farm-fresh, from a friend who happens to live on a farm in northern Virginia. I love the green eggs, especially. (Makes me think of Dr. Seuss and green eggs & ham!)


But, back to cooking. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees, Fahrenheit. Beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl until well-blended, about 70-80 strokes with a whisk.


Add the ricotta and blend well, then add the parmesan (or combination of parmesan and Parmegiano-Reggiano, half and half), and a dash of salt and/or pepper.


Pour into the pie shell. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and place on top of the cheese-egg mixture. I’m a quilter, so I couldn’t stop myself from arranging the tomato halves in alternating colors.


Sprinkle with diced basil leaves and a bit of parmesan.


Place in the oven on the top rack and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the filling has set. Remove from heat and let cool for about 5 minutes. We served this tonight with the 2013 Merlot from King Family Vineyards, which was a fabulous wine and great pairing. (This had a light nose with a hint of dark berry and leather, but on the palate a full burst of plummy dark berry, followed by spice and white pepper on the looooong finish. All I can say is if Miles in Sideways had tried this Merlot, he never would have said what he did about Merlots in general!)


Enjoy, and cheers!


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