- 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3/4 teaspoon pepper
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 1/2 cups roasted sweet red peppers, drained and finely chopped
- 3/4 cup minced fresh basil
- 1/3 cup minced fresh chives
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
- 3 tablespoons cooked bacon, crumbled
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Roasted sweet red pepper strips and additional minced chives, optional OR Hot pepper jelly or apricot jam, optional
- Baked pita chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place a greased 9 inch spring-form pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Securely wrap foil around pan.
- Place cream cheese, ricotta cheese, salt and pepper in a food processor; cover and process until smooth. Add eggs; pulse just until combined. Add red peppers, herbs, bacon and garlic; cover and pulse just until blended.
- Pour filling into prepared pan. Place spring-form pan in a large baking pan; add 1 inch of boiling water to larger pan.
- Bake 35-45 minutes or until center is just set and top appears dull. Remove spring-form pan from water bath; remove foil. Cool cheesecake on a wire rack 10 minutes; loosen edges from pan with a knife. Cool 1 hour longer, then refrigerate overnight.
- Remove rim from pan. Just before serving, drizzle cheesecake with oil; top with red pepper strips and chives if desired, or top with hot pepper jelly or apricot jam. Serve with pita chips.