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Tomatoes: Tomato and Ricotta Sformata

Tomato & Ricotta Sformata

This is a breeze to make and looks smart – a pale yellow set-custard studded with cherry tomatoes, although in the picture above I used a smaller dish than usual and the tomatoes are rather submerged. Serve it hot or warm for a summer lunch or as a starter with a leafy salad (including some bitter or peppery leaves or basil) or a fennel salad. You could also serve cold leftovers with the Spanish sauce coming later in the month. Serves 6

Butter for the dish 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 400 g cherry tomatoes 1 garlic clove, peeled and squashed 500 g ricotta 6 medium eggs 200ml crème fraiche 30 g parmesan 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves or very finely chopped rosemary Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6.

Put the oil in a small roasting tin, roll the tomatoes and garlic around in it to coat. Bake for 10 minutes. Meanwhile butter a gratin dish generously (it should be roughly 30 x 20 cm; mine is oval and measures 32 x 24 cm at its widest points).

Blend the ricotta and eggs in a processor until pale and smooth. Grate the parmesan and add it to the ricotta-egg mix with the crème fraiche, thyme and a generous seasoning of salt and pepper. Pulse very briefly to mix.

Pour into the gratin dish. Spoon in the tomatoes, dotting them around the whole dish, and then dribble over any oil and tomato juice from the tin. Bake for 20 mins.

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