Whether served with the antipasto course or in a sandwich, salami steals the show with a rich flavor that comes from garlic, wine, and spices. On the other end of the spectrum is ricotta, the creamy, mild cheese that plays well with others, finding its way into dips, pasta dishes, and even pancakes. Since I love both, I enjoy making this recipe as a way to highlight the contrasts of two Italian favorites.
When baked, the flavor of salami becomes even more robust. Hardening as it cools, it forms the perfect shell for whipped ricotta and a topping of freshly cracked black pepper. Lightly flavored even with the addition of lemon juice and olive oil, ricotta is a fresh and creamy foil to all that spice.
24 slices of Genoa salami
1 ¼ cups ricotta
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
Cracked black pepper
Begin by preparing the baked salami. I like to use an upside down mini muffin tin, as the salami bends over the cups, forming a shell. Place one slice of salami over the bottom of each muffin cup. As it cooks, the edges will crisp and become ruffled. Bake at 275 degrees for about 20 minutes.
While the salami is in the oven, combine the ricotta, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt in a food processor, and blend until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Transfer the baked salami to paper towels and allow them to cool fully. When ready to serve, top each slice with ricotta and freshly cracked black pepper.