The Best Fresh Ricotta Recipes From

03/29/2011 01:53 pm ET | Updated May 29, 2011

For the past year, readers have been voting in weekly showdowns of reader-submitted recipes on a given theme. The winning recipes of each week will end up in Food52's upcoming cookbook, along with bios of the people who submitted them (Food52 explains the process in simple detail here).

Food52 and its co-founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs have invited HuffPost Food readers to vote on week 28's contest (of the second year, and the second book).

This week's showdown is for the best late winter tart.

Check the finalists out below, and vote for your favorite here.

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Rigatoni with Sausage, Peas and Fresh Ricotta

Photo: Sarah Shatz

Amanda and Merrill's notes on Rigatoni with Sausage, Peas and Fresh Ricotta on

Often, the best way to let fresh ingredients shine is not to do too much to them. In this dish, Aliwaks uses fresh ricotta and ricotta salata, unadulterated, to add a final flourish to a hearty pasta without (according to her) "bells and whistles." Of course, there's the piquant tomato sauce, laced with garlic and fennel, that simmers gently for two hours. And then there's her addition of savory pork sausage and green peas to give texture and color. And then there's the crowning glory: the ricotta itself, mellow and milky, dolloped on top of the pasta so that it eases the sting of the red pepper flakes; it gently works its way into the sauce, rendering it creamier and creamier as you devour it. - A&M

View the Rigatoni with Sausage, Peas and Fresh Ricotta recipe here.

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Louisa's Cake

Photo: Sarah Shatz

Amanda and Merrill's notes on Louisa's Cake on

Only a true Italian nonna could produce something this ethereal with such a simple list of ingredients. SML Office got the recipe for this cake from a family friend in Chianti (Louisa), and to us it's the epitome of a classic Italian dessert. It's airy and light, but not without integrity: ricotta, eggs and plenty of butter give it richness, grated apple lends heft, and lemon zest rescues it from being at all bland. The cake is gently sweetened, and thus equally suited to breakfast and dessert. We think it would be great with something tangy and fresh, like a fruit compote -- and rhubarb season is coming up! - A&M

View the Louisa's Cake recipe here.