Ricotta cake, or how love is the only ingredient that matters
The legend says that when my mother-in-law Ester married my husband’s father, she was completely unable to cook. I know, it may seem strange that an Italian girl can’t cook, but I swear that it is possible! It was 1973, she was just 21 and she was the sixth of 7 children. Poor grandma Lucia had a lot to do managing a house with 9 people without a washing machine and a dishwasher, so there was something like a military discipline at home: everyone had a role and specific tasks. Ester entered the kitchen for the first time when she was 8, she was too young to cook and her task was to wash dishes…I can imagine this little girl, standing on a stool washing dishes as if I were there…
After the first marriage month, and overall after eating steaks, eggs, and steaks with eggs more that 30 days long, she remembered that, if she wasn’t able to cook, her mother and her mother-in-law (Grandma Lucia and Grandma Maria, 2 real family’s pillars!) were really good in doing that. So she did the most simple thing: she took up the phone and every day asked them how to cook this and that.
I’m writing this story because I think that the kitchen follows life rules. At a certain point you meet the art of cooking because well…you need food! And maybe it’s like meeting Mister Right…bells ring and you know that you have just found something that you’ll love for the rest of your life…or..well…nothing really happens and you cook not because you love it, but because you love the people who sit around the table with you. And to be honest, this seems to me a very good reason! And that’s probably why, even if Ester doesn’t love to cook very much, her food is always incredibly good!
Now I have known Ester for more that 11 years and in all this time I ate only one type of cake (and no more than 4 or 5 times so I suppose you can trust me if I say that she’s not a cooking addict!) that is, of course, this ricotta cake. It’s really good, light (just 80 gr of butter) and perfect for breakfast or tea time. Please remember to add the most important ingredient: the love for your family!
Click here for the recipe
200 g flour
200 g ricotta cheese
80 g butter
15 g baking powder
180 g sugar
peel of 1 lemon and 1 orange
Melt the butter in a double boiler. Work the ricotta cheese with all the sugar till it became a very soft and homogeneous cream. Add half of the flour sifted and 1 egg and mix with energy. Add the rest of the flour and the last egg and mix again. Pour the liquid butter, the baking powder and the peer of an orange and of a lemon. Cook in preheated oven at 180°C (350°F) for around 40 minutes.