Ina Garten Says This Is Her Favorite Recipe in All Her Cookbooks

updated May 24, 2019
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: The Kitchn)

For her show, Getting There, on The Skimm, Katie Couric interviews amazing women on how they made it to where they are — and this week’s episode, featuring Ina Garten, gave us all that info, plus a hot tip on Ina’s favorite recipe from all 11 of her books — the fig ricotta cake recipe they make on camera.

Katie deserves major props for her bravery: she arrived at Ina’s house with a batch of chocolate pecan scones from Ina’s latest book, Cook Like a Pro. Showing up with your version of someone’s recipe shows the kind of “just do it, don’t think about it” bravery Ina credits with much of her success later in the video.

The video opens with a hilarious shot of Katie biting into a fresh-off-the-vine tomato and spurting it all over the both of them, so it’s probably a good thing she brought the scones. They head back to Ina’s office, her kitchen in the barn in the backyard, and sit down for a chat.

Ina talks about not being allowed to cook as a child — she was supposed to study — and about how Jeffrey encouraged her to go out and work. After her stint in the Department of Energy during the Nixon and Carter administrations, she bought a specialty food store in the Hamptons: the beginning of the Barefoot Contessa. The next phase of her career actually came when she was trying to sell the shop but couldn’t, so she decided to write a cookbook. She’s now releasing her 11th cookbook.

As she tells the story, she lets slip a few great bits of advice, including how to hire people, “I can teach people about cheese,” she says. “But not how to be happy.” Rather than look for expertise, she says, she just looks for happy people.

She and Katie both seem pretty happy as they dive into the baking portion of the video, and Katie asks Ina what her favorite recipe from all the books is. Ina looks around and decides that it is, perhaps, the fig ricotta cake they are making together. “Something about ricotta, lemon, and vanilla,” she says, “They’re all great flavors together.” But she also mentions that it can be made with any flavorful fruit — peaches or plums.

Finally, she says perhaps the most relatable thing any of us have ever heard on food television: every time she cooks for the camera, she says, “I’m terrified it’s not going to come out.” Us, too, Ina, every time we cook.

Get the recipe: Fresh Fig & Ricotta Cake from Ina Garten