Fresh ricotta has a bland taste that comes into its own cooked in conjunction with more defined flavours.
Reserve the potatoes in cold salted water. Melt the butter and sauté the mushrooms with the garlic until just turning colour. Do not overcook. Drain the mushrooms, reserving the liquid.
With a fork, mash the two cheeses together. Drain the potatoes and dry them well.
Cover with wet greaseproof paper and bake at
‘A harvest dinner was given by a landlord to his tenantry … Great was the work of destruction going on upon huge mounds of beef, joints of pork and mutton, pyramids of greens and potatoes, enormous puddings, pies of Brobdingnag dimensions, jugs of beer and jars of teetotal temperance cordial. One man had a plate before him which was piled high with contributions from every dish on the table, a large slice of plum pudding resting very amicably beside a goodly segment of corned beef, flanked with greens. Still he seemed not quite satisfied – there was evidently something wanting to complete his happiness. He had not potatoes.’
From ‘Letters from the Coast of Clare’, Dublin University Magazine.
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