Make alla Norma pasta, homemade ricotta and a chickpea fritters sandwich

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Who doesn’t love a creamy cheese? In this week’s episode of TODAY All Day’s “Saucy,” Anthony Contrino makes a batch of the silkiest, cloud-like Italian cheese: ricotta. Its homemade version is much simpler than the traditional double-baking process. The result is a wonderfully light ricotta that can be used in your favorite sweet and savory dishes. The chef and food stylist then prepares a classic panelle sandwich with crispy donuts that melt in your mouth, followed by the Sicilian classic, pasta alla Norma.

TODAY all day

In Italian, ricotta means ‘twice baked’ because this cheese is traditionally made from whey from the cheese-making process. I don’t know about you, but I normally don’t have whey on hand, so this is how I do it at home. This recipe takes just 10 minutes (plus, an hour of idle time), and it’s easy and super tasty.

Panel sandwich

TODAY

Sometimes the best things in life are the simplest. This modest sandwich pays homage to one of the best street food you’ll find in Sicily: crispy chickpea fritters. Often served between rustic country bread, this Brooklynized version of the panelle sandwich is topped with a savory ricotta spread.

Pasta à la Norma

TODAY

This simple and rustic Sicilian pasta dish is a family favorite. Sweet tomatoes, earthy eggplants, and a little red pepper for spices make it perfect for any night of the week. Normally topped with ricotta salata, this version uses a whipped ricotta to balance the tomato-based sauce with a creamier texture.


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