We’re unabashed milk drinkers in the Jolly Tomato house (we even get the old-fashioned milk delivery each week to make sure we never run out of milk). So we perked up when we heard about the new #FoodLovesMilk campaign from the folks over at Got Milk (the California Milk Processor Board) at TechMunch the other week. And when we tried some of their high-end food-and-milk combos, we were sold.
The new campaign is designed to highlight milk’s essential role in food pairings, with recipes from renowned California chefs. It also aims to show the benefits of incorporating milk into a meal: The protein in milk, as well as the fat in nonskim varieties, helps increase satiety and a feeling of fullness. Additionally, the essential flavor contained in naturally occurring fats may enhance a food’s overall taste profile. In fact – amazingly – new research shows that fat may be akin to a new “sixth” taste sense, following salty, sweet, savory, bitter, and umami.
To kick off the campaign, Chef Piero Topputo of Forma Restaurant in Santa Monica, CA created this recipe for Italian Pumpkin Ricotta Pancakes with Mixed Berries. It’s made with a milk product (ricotta), but it also goes really well with milk. (We edited this recipe slightly, changing the order of ingredients to make it easier to fold in the egg whites at the end.)
Italian Pumpkin Ricotta Pancakes
- 7 fresh egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla beans
- Zest of one orange
- Dash of cinnamon
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 3 egg whites
- Berries syrup and cream for serving
In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until well blended. Add the orange zest, vanilla, and cinnamon, and mix well. Stir in the pumpkin puree and ricotta cheese until mixture is smooth and evenly blended. Stir in the flour and baking powder.
In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the pumpkin batter, just so the mixture is combined.
Heat a pancake griddle (spray with nonstick cooking spray if needed) on medium heat. Drop small dollops of the batter onto the griddle. Cook until golden brown, for two to three minutes, then flip and cook the other side.
Serve immediately with fresh berries and cream or syrup if desired.
When we made these pancakes with our 8-year-old, he remained amazed that the pancakes had little to no flour (only 1/3 cup), compared to a far larger quantity of frothy egg whites, ricotta, and pumpkin. “It’s replacing the flour with the fluff!” he declared. When finished, these pancakes are very light, airy, and soft. We made them silver-dollar-sized, so they’re easy to grab on the way out the door…with a carton of milk in hand.