Sweet treats, such as the Polish doughnuts paczki, New Orleans-style beignets and Mardi Gras king cake, tend to draw most of the attention on Fat Tuesday, celebrated on the day before Ash Wednesday. It's a last chance to indulge before the fasting days of Lent, and if you're going to live it up with something full of fat and sugar, you might as well go big.
Another centuries-long tradition is pancakes, which also allow the faithful and those who are just plain hungry to use up their supply of butter, milk and eggs.
These light and airy pancakes are perfect for your Shrove Tuesday dinner on March 1. Fresh ricotta adds a creamy richness, and there's also a kiss of citrus, thanks to the addition of lemon juice and zest. They're also super easy to stir together, and who doesn't love breakfast for dinner?
Be sure not to over mix the batter (it will make your pancakes less fluffy), and always start with a hot pan. Don't worry if the first batch isn't perfect — it can take some practice for your flipping and gauging the proper heat.
I like them dusted with a little powdered sugar and a generous handful of fresh blueberries, but (real) maple syrup works, too.
LEMON RICOTTA PANCAKES
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar