Whey to go
The beauty of ricotta is that, although mild in taste, it can take on and enhance the flavour of both sweet and savoury dishes. Like so many foods introduced to Australia by immigrants, ricotta – an Italian cheese made from whey – was initially misunderstood and considered strange. We now enjoy it at breakfast, in salads, served with meat dishes and in many fabulous desserts.
1 Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush lamb rumps with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat large, heavybased frypan on high. Seal lamb on both sides until well coloured. Transfer to baking tray and cook in oven for 10-12 minutes. Rest for 5 minutes before slicing. 2 Heat frypan on medium. Sauté potato slices in butter until golden, turning to colour both sides. 3 Boil beans in salted water for 1½ minutes or until tender. Drain and toss through sautéed potatoes with extra-virgin olive oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper. 4 To serve, place potatoes on plates, scatter over fresh ricotta and place 2-3 cherry tomatoes to one side. Slice lamb, arrange over salad and drizzle warm jus on top. Wine match: 2013 Leconfield Cabernet Sauvignon ($34)
1 Ricotta dumplings need to be made at least 24 hours before serving. To make, place ricotta in large bowl and beat with fork to break down. Add parmesan, nutmeg and a little salt and pepper. Place half the semolina in a bowl and remainder in separate, deep-sided tray. 2 Roll ricotta mix into balls, approx. half the size of golf balls. Place in bowl of semolina, toss to coat, then carefully place in semolina tray, pressing dumplings into bed of semolina to come halfway up the sides. Continue with remaining ricotta, then transfer to fridge uncovered. Leave to dry and firm overnight. 3 For crab, heat a little extra-virgin olive oil in large frypan. Sauté garlic and chilli flakes for 1-2 minutes until garlic has softened. Add crab, salt and black pepper; stir until crab meat is warmed through. Remove from heat and quickly toss in chopped basil and lemon juice. 4 Meanwhile, bring large pot of lightly salted water to boil. Gently lift out dumplings and shake off excess. Drop dumplings into water and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Drain and season lightly. Arrange 5 dumplings in serving bowls, then spoon over crab mixture. Finish with extra-virgin olive oil and a grind of black pepper. Wine match: 2013 Craggy Range Te Muna Four ($42)