A lesser known Italian recipe that combines a soft roasted pepper flan with a creamy Pecorino sauce. Warm and vegetarian, this could become your next favourite antipasto recipe.
Line an oven tray with three pieces of aluminium foil so that they're slightly overlapping. Wash and dry the red peppers and place them on the oven tray so that they're each on a single aluminium foil. Bake in the oven for 1 hour at 200°C turning them every 15 minutes. When the baking time is up, take the whole tray out of the oven and wrap the roasted peppers individually in aluminium. Let cool wrapped for one hour or overnight.
Peel and seed the roasted peppers, discard any excess water or oil depending on type used. The optimal quantity of cleaned roasted pepper slices to be used is about 250 grams.
Combine roasted peppers, whole eggs, ricotta, grated parmigiano and salt in a tall container and blend until smooth. Thoroughly butter the molds - even if using silicone! Flan is soft and fragile and we need to make sure it will smoothly slide out of the molds. Divide mixture into molds. Please notice that the flans will grow as they bake, so do not fill the molds to the brim to avoid spilling.
Transfer filled molds to a baking dish and fill the baking dish with water, about 1 cm. Do not skip this step as flan needs to be baked in a water bath. Place water bath dish and molds in the preheated oven and bake at 200°C for 30 minutes. The flan will rise and set as it bakes.
Remove from the oven when flans look set and the tops are starting to slightly brown. Do not overbake. Let flan rest in the molds for about 10 minutes before plating.
As the flans bake in the oven, prepare the cheese sauce. Add the flour to a small saucepan and set on medium heat. Let the flour toast for a couple of minutes, then add the butter and quickly mix to make a roux. Add the cold milk and stir to combine. Do not worry if the difference in temperature causes lumps; stirring will dissolve them. Stir until the mixture reaches boiling temperature, then remove the sauce form the heat and fold in the grated pecorino. Pecorino cheese is quite salty, so there is no need to add any salt to the cheese sauce. Add freshly cracked black pepper to taste.
Pour the cheese sauce over the plated flan, or serve on the side preferably in a metal container so that the sauce keeps warm and does not thicken too quickly.
Red pepper quantity: