The Italian markets are full of huge red and yellow capsicums, but never green. There are many ways to prepare them, but roasted like this they can be served not just alongside this baked ricotta, but also as a vegetable to accompany barbecues or grilled meats.
4 red capsicums
⅓ cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
2 tablespoons thyme leaves
500 grams well drained ricotta
1 egg yolk
3 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan
100 grams feta, finely crumbled
¼ cup stuffed green olives, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon chilli flakes
3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
3 cup capacity baking dish, brushed with oil and the base lined with baking paper
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Cut the capsicums into quarters, leaving the green stems on if possible, and remove the seeds and membrane.
Combine the oil, garlic, fennel, paprika and thyme. Arrange the capsicums on a baking tray and spoon the oil mixture into the quarters. Season and roast until tender but not falling apart. Set aside to cool.
Ricotta: Combine all the ingredients except the oil and paprika in a bowl and season. Tip into the baking dish and level the top with a fork. Drizzle with the oil then sprinkle over the paprika. Place in the oven and bake about 40 minutes until firm and golden.
To serve: Arrange the capsicums on a platter – carefully lifting the capsicums to keep the juices inside each one – and serve the ricotta either in the baking dish if serving warm, or turned out when cold, sliced and placed alongside the vegetables.