If you can't find good-quality ricotta, bufala or otherwise, for this dish, omit the cheese; don't use gloppy supermarket ricotta.
- 6 stalks rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 3"– 4" pieces
- 1 1⁄2 cups plus 2 tbsp. sugar
- Zest of 1 orange
- 1 cup bufala ricotta or other fresh ricotta
Preheat oven to 325°. Put rhubarb into a medium baking dish. Sprinkle 1 1⁄2 cups of the sugar over rhubarb, then scatter orange zest on top. Add enough water to baking dish to just cover rhubarb (about 4 cups). Transfer to oven and cook, uncovered, until rhubarb is very soft, about 1 hour.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer rhubarb to a large plate and pour sweet rhubarb juices from dish into a medium saucepan. Return rhubarb to baking dish and set aside. Boil rhubarb juices over medium-high heat until thick and syrupy, 15–20 minutes, then pour over rhubarb in dish.
Serve rhubarb warm or at room temperature, with a spoonful of ricotta and a bit of sugar sprinkled on top.