Food & Recipes

Ina Garten Says Her Favorite Recipe Is a Fruity Twist on Ricotta Cake

We turn to Ina Garten for the best dessert recipes — but what sweet treats does the Barefoot Contessa herself enjoy whipping up in the kitchen? The TV host spilled the beans to another famous anchor, Katie Couric, and our mouths are already watering.

During an October 2018 taping of Couric’s show on Facebook, Getting There, Garten revealed that her all-time favorite recipe from any of her cookbooks is her fig ricotta cake. Mmmm. Couric even comes over to Garten’s house — bearing chocolate pecan scones from Garten’s latest cookbook, Cook Like a Pro ($21, Amazon) — so the pair could cook the fruit cake together (that recipe is also available in her new book).

“I’ve made this so many times it’s crazy,” Garten joked. When Couric asks why Garten is so drawn to this one particular recipe, the cook replied, “I think there’s something about the ricotta, and the lemon and vanilla; they’re all great flavors together.”

Of course, you’re not limited to just figs. Any fruit will do, Garten said, so pick your favorite!

Even though we all associate Garten with food, cooking, and the Barefoot Contessa, she actually worked for the government in a past life. “I’m kind of in the generation of women that didn’t grow up expecting to do something with their lives,” she explained to Couric. Garten credits her husband, Jeffrey, for pushing her to look for work. “He came home one day and I was watching TV and he was like ‘If you don’t do something, you’ll be really unhappy,’ and it was the first moment that I thought ‘Wow, that never even occured to me.’ And that’s when I got a job at the White House doing nuclear energy policy… Isn’t that crazy? I was part of the group that oversaw the budgets of the Department of Energy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.”

Fortunately, Garten realized a career in government wasn’t fulfilling, so she left and bought a little specialty foods store in the Hamptons in New York, and, well, the rest is history!

Watch the rest of the Couric and Garten’s conversation in the video below:

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