Spicy Ricotta-Parmesan Pinzimonio

Makes: 1¼ cups

  • 1 tablespoon Bellucci extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small dried hot chili pepper, crushed
  • 4 cloves garlic, skins intact
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese
  • 2 sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced parsley
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • Assorted raw seasonal vegetables (cocktail tomatoes, fennel, carrots, broccoli florets, asparagus, cauliflower, celery, red and yellow peppers)

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Heat the olive oil gently in a small pot with the crushed chili peppers. Do not let the oil simmer or boil, just warm up. Take the pot off the heat, and let the oil steep for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, wrap garlic in aluminum foil, and bake for 45 minutes or until garlic is soft. When cool enough to handle, squeeze garlic out of the skins, mash and reserve.

In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmigiano, mashed garlic, sundried tomatoes and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

When the chili oil is cool, add 1 tablespoon to the cheese mixture. Stir and taste. To make it hotter, add more chili oil. Serve dip with raw vegetables.

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