Rowena Dumlao-Giardina resides in Italy, cooking and photographing her family's interesting meals on Apron and Sneakers. After moving to Italy in 1999 from the Philippines, she has traveled extensively around the country and the rest of ...
Crostini, the Italian bread appetizer, can be topped with anything your heart desires. This Umbrian version of ricotta topped with figs cooked in port wine is absolutely amazing!
Umbria is one of my favorite regions in Italy. It's close enough to Rome to go for weekend trips to indulge in their fantastic food and wine culture and gorgeous scenery. On one of these trips, I learned how to put together these delicious crostini from a local shopkeeper. You see, a favorite Italian pastime is to speak about food. This recipe is my own adaptation of this favorite Umbrian crostini.
Crostini with drunken figs and ricotta recipe
Yields 4 crostini
8-14 pieces dried figs (allow 2-3 pieces per bread, depending on the size)
1 cup port wine
1/2 cup water
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
4 slices bread
Extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup ricotta (depending on the size of the bread)
2 tablespoons shaved almonds
Fresh mint (optional)
In a container, place the dried figs and marinate with 1/2 cup port wine and 1/4 cup water. Cover and refrigerate. Leave overnight. The following day, discard the marinade.
Coarsely chop 2 figs, then set aside.
Using a knife, make a small cut on each remaining fig to make the liquid enter while cooking. You can also cut them in half if you prefer.
Over medium heat, in a medium saucepan, boil the figs with the remaining 1/2 cup port wine and 1/4 cup water, the cinnamon stick, cloves and sugar. When it boils, simmer on low heat until the sauce becomes syrupy and the figs tender, about 15-20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Drizzle the bread with extra-virgin olive oil.
Spread a good amount of ricotta on each slice of bread.
Top with the cooled figs and some of the syrup.
Sprinkle with the shaved almonds and mint, if using.