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Sheep’s-Milk Ricotta

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Illustrations by John Burgoyne  

Lambing season at Dancing Ewe Farm in Granville is just winding down, and for dairy devotees that means one thing: The farm’s superb sheep’s-milk ricotta has finally arrived at Union Square Greenmarket, where it will be available Fridays through late summer. A whey-derived by-product of Dancing Ewe’s pecorino production, the ricotta is great for enriching pasta dishes like this one from Table 8’s Govind Armstrong.

Govind Armstrong’s Linguine With Lemon, Ricotta, and Bread Crumbs

FOR BREAD CRUMBS:
3 slices sourdough bread (crusts removed), diced
1 tbs. olive oil
Salt and pepper

FOR PASTA:
1 lb. linguine
1 tbs. olive oil, plus 1 tbs. for garnish
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tbs. shallots, chopped
Pinch of red-chile flakes
1/4 cup white wine
1/8 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tbs. parsley leaves, picked from stem
2 tbs. butter
2 tbs. ricotta cheese, plus 4 tbs. for garnish
2 tbs. bread crumbs, plus 4 tbs. for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste

To make bread crumbs: Preheat oven to 375. Toss diced bread in oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place on a cookie sheet, and bake until golden. Let cool, then lightly crush until roughly pea size.

To make pasta: Boil linguine in salted water to just short of al dente. Meanwhile, place the olive oil, garlic, shallots, and chile in a sauté pan, and cook over medium heat until the garlic turns golden brown. Remove the pan from the fire, and deglaze with wine. Return to burner, and reduce liquid by half. (1) Add lemon juice, parsley, butter, 2 tablespoons ricotta, and 2 tablespoons bread crumbs, and stir until no liquid remains but sauce isn’t too thick or dry. Season with salt and pepper, and add the pasta. (2) Toss, taste, and season again if necessary. Divide into 4 bowls; (3) garnish each serving with remaining ricotta and bread crumbs, and a drizzle of olive oil.


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