The Bachelor: Mike Sorrentino

updated 03/09/2011 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/09/2011 01:00AM

MTV's Jersey Shore became a hit for being unpredictable-except for one thing. "Every week, no matter what, we had Sunday dinner," says the cast's resident chef, Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino, 29. It's a practice the Staten Island native grew up with as one of four kids in a traditional Italian family. "We'd have pasta, bread, an appetizer and dessert," explains Sorrentino, who picked up culinary skills from mom Linda, 54, and brother Frank, 35. "He makes his own sauces from scratch!" And while Sorrentino avoids sugar to maintain his famous abs, he'll splurge on his mom's cheesecake. "I make it for girls on special occasions," he says.

MAMA'S SPECIAL CHEESECAKE

Serves 12

2 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened

4 eggs

1½ cups sugar

1 lb. (2 cups) ricotta cheese

1 pint (2 cups) sour cream

1 stick unsalted butter (½ cup), softened, plus more for greasing pan

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 tbsp. cornstarch

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Beat cream cheese and eggs with an electric mixer until smooth.

3. Add sugar, ricotta, sour cream and butter, and beat until smooth.

4. Add vanilla and lemon juice, and beat until smooth. Beat in cornstarch until smooth.

5. Line the bottom and sides of a 10-in. springform pan with aluminum foil and grease with butter.

6. Place an empty lasagna pan or baking dish on the bottom shelf of oven and carefully fill halfway with boiling water.

7. Place cheesecake on middle shelf and bake until just set but center is still jiggly and top is lightly browned, 90 to 100 minutes.

8. Turn off heat, open oven door and leave cheesecake in oven an additional 30 minutes.

9. Remove from oven, cool for 30 minutes, then refrigerate, covered, 8 to 12 hours.

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