Romano’s Macaroni Grill is an Italian restaurant brand founded in 1988 by Phil Romano, one of the industry’s leading innovators. Inspired by the Italian country cuisine served in Romano’s grandmother’s kitchen, Macaroni Grill blends Italian traditions with progressive culinary inspiration from all regions of Italy and the U.S. An extensive wine list and the chain’s unique honor wine system finish out the experience in this polished casual atmosphere.

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New York Cheesecake

For the Crust:
12 ladyfingers
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter, melted

For the Filling:
3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 cups sour cream
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup sugar
3 eggs

For Serving:
whipped cream
fresh strawberries
strawberry sauce

To Make the Crust: In a food processor, combine broken up ladyfingers with butter and process until mixture is in fine crumbs. Press onto bottom only of a 9-inch springform pan (3 inches high). Wrap a double thickness of foil around bottom and all the way up sides of outside of pan.

To Make the Filling: In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, ricotta cheese, sour cream, vanilla and lemon juice about 6 to 7 minutes or until light and fluffy. Beat in sugar and continue beating 3 to 4 minutes, until very smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Pour mixture into crust-lined pan.

To Bake: Put springform pan into a larger baking pan and carefully add hot water to come 1/3 way up side of springform pan (best to do this on oven rack). Bake in preheated 250 degree oven 4 to 4 1/2 hours or until set and knife inserted near center comes out clean. (Top should be pale golden, if at all). Remove springform pan from larger baking pan and cool to room temperature. While cake is still warm, run tip of a sharp knife gently around sides to loosen cake from pan. Refrigerate until cold, at least 3 hours or longer.

To Serve: Carefully remove springform side of pan. Cut cheesecake into slices with a sharp knife dipped into hot water and wiped dry. Serve cold with whipped cream and fresh strawberries and strawberry sauce, if desired.

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