8 oz Neufchatel cheese
1 c Ricotta cheese
2 c Fresh basil leaves
1/4 c Olive oil
3 md Garlic cloves
2 tb Grated Parmesan cheese
40 Peppercorns,coarsely crushed
Sprigs of fresh oregano
Slices of sun dried tomato
Strips of red bell pepper
Combine Neufchatel cheese and ricotta in a small mixing bowl. Beat until
thoroughly combined. (An electric mixer at medium-high speed works very
Prepare a three-layer rectangle of cheesecloth, about 6×20 inches. For
easier handling, place the cheesecloth on a tray or cookie sheet.
Spread the cheese mixture onto the cheesecloth, making a retangle about
4×16 inches. (It is possible to make a neat retangle on the cheesecloth by
cutting the edges of the cheese with a plain dinner knife.) Refrigerate,
uncovered, for several hours before before filling.
To make the pesto, combine basil, 1/4 cup olive oil, garlic, and parmesan
in a food processor or blender. Puree to a paste. Salt to taste.
Spread a layer of olive oil on the cheese rectangle. Then add the pesto,
and spread it to within 1/2 inch of the edges.
Sprinkle on the coarsely crushed peppercorns.
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Lifting the cheesecloth from one end, roll up the torta along the long edge
as you would a jelly roll. You will end up with a cylinder shape. Wrap it
in cheesecloth (use a fresh piece, double thickness) and place it on its
side on a plate. Cover tightly with plastic wrap ad refrigerate 12 to 24
hours before serving.
To serve, unwrap the torta and place it on a plate. Frane it lavishly with
garnishes and serve with dark bread or the finest crackers, and raw
The torta will keep for up to a week (depending on how fresh the ricotta
was to begin with). The pesto will seep more deeply into the cheese the
longer it sits.
The pesto can be made as much as two weeks ahead.
REG shared by Kelly T. McNamara, Cleveland, OH, USA.
Serving Ideas: Serve as part of a Vegetarian Thanksgiving menu.
Per serving: 393 Calories; 25g Fat (53% calories from fat); 16g Protein;
36g Carbohydrate; 51mg Cholesterol; 240mg Sodium