Ricotta And Friends

Sometimes I regret pitting Greek yogurt and mayo against each other in the "who's more useful at lunchtime" Deadliest Warrior-style competition. Especially when I realize I left out the third fighter. This has happened to me several times now. I'll be spreading a layer of fluffy ricotta on bread for a sandwich and suddenly have flashes of mayo or Greek yogurt. I'll be tossing together a crazy variation on chicken salad with Greek yogurt as the binding agent and suddenly wish I'd used ricotta. This leads to self-doubt regarding my prowess as a sandwich-crafter, and it really shakes me up.

Now I've been spreading mayo on bread for along time. When I started subbing in Greek yogurt, I thought I was pretty smart. But when I found myself spreading ricotta instead of mayo, yogurt or even (gulp) cream cheese (don't shoot!) it occured to me that this humble ingredient had so much more to bring to the table than just another stuffing. Ricotta and I really bonded when I started making it myself. And save your Aglio e Olio for the picky kids' table, tossing spaghetti with a little ricotta and freshly ground black pepper dominates the simple-yet-delicious department.

Ready for a little inspiration?

And whatever you do (which hopefully is all of the above), save some for weekend pancakes. Buttermilk is tasty, but ricotta is cheese.