Blueberry, Ricotta (Anari) and Almond bake

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I didn’t grow up on blueberries. In fact, I first tasted fresh blueberries in London, about ten years ago. Even though I am lucky enough to live on an island that produces all kinds of fresh fruits and vegetables in abundance, Cyprus is just too warm for blueberries. I absolutely love this tiny berry that stains your mouth blue. Luckily I can now buy them fresh from my local supermarket, but frozen ones are a really good alternative. Continue reading

Pumpkin, Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni

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I have always been intimidated by the thought of filling cannelloni pasta tubes. Growing up in a Cypriot home, I learned that cannelloni is usually a meat filled, rolled up crepe, not pasta. The Cypriot version of cannelloni is what the Italians call “crespelle”.

One fine day, I decided I had to do the right thing, and bake a real cannelloni. I got a pack of perfectly shaped, “Mitsides” cannelloni, prepared my stuffing and bravely confronted my fears. Believe me when I say, it’s so much easier than I thought. To fill the pasta tubes, all you need to do is put your filling in a plastic, food-grade bag, snip the end off and squeeze. Really, it’s that simple. Continue reading

“Anari” Cheesecake with Almond Crust and Candied Kumquats

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“Anari” is the Cypriot version of the Italian Ricotta, only it contains less fat. It’s an excellent ingredient for a cheesecake, lighter that your usual “All Philadelphia” version. Ok, I admit you cannot include this cheesecake in your low-calorie, fat-free diet, but it is considerably lighter. For the crust, I substituted half of the biscuits with ground almonds and they added an excellent flavor and crunch. I topped it with candied kumquats for a really special and original flavour, but you can top it with strawberries or a plain dusting of icing sugar.
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Baked Farfalle with Ricotta and Cherry Tomatoes

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Don’t you just love baked pasta dishes? Unattended cooking at it’s best! The moment you take your pan out of the oven and you see all that cheese bubbling away, it’s mouth watering just thinking about it. This version of baked pasta is really creamy and cheesy with a subtle aroma of basil. I used “Mitsides” farfalle pasta, which works great, as it doesn’t overcook in the oven and retains it’s al-dente texture. The cherry tomatoes work great with the ricotta and add moisture to the dish. You can serve it as a vegetarian main, or as part of a buffet lunch. Continue reading