Ever since Victor made that ricotta cheese at Easter, I’ve been looking for more. And today was the day!

It is just unbelievably good – and so easy to make!

Fresh Ricotta

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Add all ingredients to a heavy pot and simmer 15-20 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to sit for 30 minutes.

Scoop curds into a cheesecloth-lined sieve and drain about 30 minutes.  Squeeze to remove as much whey as possible.

Cover and chill.

So…  with the fresh ricotta, I needed something to put under it.  I have had a pound of ground lamb in the freezer for too long – it was time to find a recipe and use it.

I found a lot of recipes but nothing was whetting the appetite – and then I found one for Sicilian lamb patties braised in what looked like an eggplant caponata.  That looked good enough to go for!

The recipe I started with comes from Bruce Aidells of Aidells sausage fame.  I met him years ago when I was working for California Sunshine and he was still making sausages by hand.  The recipe as written would have been good, I’m sure, but I really didn’t want to serve it on polenta, and I wanted to grill the patties, not fry them.

Grilling the patties and then finishing them off in the sauce was a good compromise. And serving it atop fresh arugula and topping it with the fresh ricotta was perfection.

Sicilian Lamb Patties


Lamb patties:

  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground lamb
  • 1/2 cup finely grated pecorino cheese
  • 1 large egg, beaten to blend
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Eggplant mixture:

  • 1 large eggplant (1 to 1 1/4 pounds), unpeeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Coarse kosher salt
  • 1 large red bell pepper cut into strips
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh marjoram

For lamb patties:

Combine breadcrumbs and milk and soak 5 minutes. Add lamb and remaining ingredients; mix gently to combine. Shape into 8 patties.

For eggplant mixture:

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine cubed eggplant and 4 tablespoons oil in large bowl and toss to coat. Spread eggplant out on rimmed baking sheet; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake about 25 minutes, stirring once.

Grill lamb patties and set aside.

In skillet, cook onions until wilted. Add red peppers, and garlic and cook for a few minutes and thenadd the wine. Cook until wine is reduced to glaze 7-10 minutes. Add eggplant, tomatoes, and marjoram. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Add lamb patties and continue cooking another 10-15 minutes, or until patties are cooked thropugh.

Spoon caponata atop fresh arugula. Place lamb patties on top and top with fresh ricotta cheese.

It looks like a lot of stuff, but it really was quite easy.  You can make the parts ahead of time and throw it together at the last minute, too.

So onto the knee…

I had my follow-up appointment today and all is swell!  The healing is coming along just as it should, and I’ll be back to work on Tuesday with no restrictions.

Not bad.  I actually got to see pictures of it, today.  Fortunately, there was no arthritis or anything other problem – just a nasty tear – so I shall be back to normal in no time.

And in other fun news…

Today is my sister’s birthday!  Arlene Diane and Eileen Deane – The Twins – were children numbers four and five to join the clan.  All four of my sisters were born in May – and all four of them just got back from Maui yesterday.

Happy Birthday to you!