Pesto Cheese Torta
|Pesto||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs) (Quick / Purchased)|
|Pine nuts||1⁄3 Cup (5.33 tbs)|
|Ricotta cheese||8 Ounce (1 Cup, Whole Milk / Part Skim, At Room Temperature)|
|Mascarpone cheese/Neufchatel cheese||8 Ounce (1 Cup, At Room Temperature)|
|Fresh basil leaves||4 (Or Sprigs)|
|Breadsticks/Red bell pepper strips and cucumber spears||1 Cup (16 tbs) (Crisp, Adjust Quantity As Needed)|
Prepare Quick Pesto; set aside.
Spread pine nuts in a 9-inch pie pan and bake in a 350° oven until golden (about 7 minutes), shaking pan occasionally.
In a food processor or a large bowl, combine ricotta cheese, mascarpone, and pesto.
Whirl or beat with an electric mixer until blended; season to taste with salt, if desired.
Stir in half the pine nuts.
Line a small bowl (about 2 1/2-cup capacity) with a double layer of dampened cheesecloth, leaving a 2-inch border of cloth draped over edge of bowl.
Spoon in cheese mixture, fold cloth over top, and press down lightly to compact.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (at least 2 hours) or until next day.
Unfold cheesecloth and invert bowl onto a serving plate so torta slips out; remove cheesecloth.
Sprinkle torta with remaining pine nuts and garnish with basil leaves.
Surround with breadsticks.