Fennel Sausage and Fresh Ricotta Bread Pudding

Prep & Cook Time Prep 30 min, Bake 45 min
Serves 4-8


For ricotta:
1 gallon whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp Maldon sea salt
1/2 cup fresh, strained lemon juice (from 2 large lemons)

For bread pudding:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the dish
7 cups cubed, day-old sourdough bread
3 cups whole milk
3 large eggs
2 Tbsp Salt
2 whole onion, medium dice
2 bulb fennel, medium dice
12 ounces cooked pork fennel sausage, broken into about 1” pieces
Ricotta cheese from recipe above
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh ground balck pepper
¼ cup sliced chives

How to

For ricotta:
Line a colander with 2 layers of cheesecloth, and set it in a clean sink or large bowl.
Clip an instant-read thermometer to the side of a large pot. Put the milk and cream in the pot and slowly warm it over medium heat, stirring occasionally with spatula, bring the milk up to 185*
Remove from the heat, stir in the salt, and then slowly pour the lemon juice over the surface of the milk. Once all of the lemon juice has been added, stir gently for 1 to 2 minutes to encourage curds to form. Strain curds through the cheesecloth and reserve whey for another use.

For bread pudding:
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Coat a 9 × 13-inch baking dish with butter.
Scatter the bread into the prepared dish. Whisk together the milk, egg and salt in a large bowl, and pour the milk mixture over the bread.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the onions and fennel, cook, stirring often, until soft, about 6 minutes.
Fold in the sausage, ricotta, half of the Parmesan, onions and fennel. Top with the remaining Parmesan.
Bake 45 minutes, uncovered, until the center is firm.
Garnish with black pepper and chives.