A small spring gathering this weekend got my wheels turning for a great appetizer for a party. I haven't made this in ten or more years and I did remember how good it was. A small slice, a glass of wine....pure pleasure. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do....and sending repeated thanks to my friend, Ed. who gave this to me twenty years ago! How time flies.
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1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 1/2 cup basil, fresh
1/2 cup parsley
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove
1 pound ricotta cheese, room temp.
2 pound cream cheese, room temp.
1/2 pound Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
Preheat oven to 325F. Butter bottom and sides of 10" spring form pan. Mix bread crumbs and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle mixture into pan, turning to coat completely.
Mix basil leaves, parsley, oil, salt and garlic in food processor until smooth paste forms, about 2 minutes, scraping sides occasionally. Put ricotta cheese, cream cheese and Parmesan in a mixer bowl and mix until smooth about 2 minutes. Mix in the eggs. Remove about 1/3 of this mixture to a small bowl. Into the original 2/3 cheese mixture, fold in the basil mixture until well blended. Pour the basil mixture into the prepared pan and carefully spread an even layer of the cheese mixture on top. Sprinkle with pine nuts. Set pan on a baking sheet. Bake 1 1/2 hours. Turn oven off and cool cheesecake about 1 hour with the oven door slightly ajar. Transfer to a rack and cool completely. Serve at room temperature, or slightly warmed.
Yield: 12 servings
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