fresh ricotta – you can make your own cheese

Fresh Ricotta is a delicious creamy soft Italian cheese often used for pasta fillings such as ravioli or manicotti. As a filling you have less opportunity to celebrate the cheese in it’s own glory; rather it becomes a part of the whole. Most cooks will use a commercial ricotta if they are making a filling saving homemade ricotta for something more special.

Fresh Ricotta drizzled with a great extra virgin olive oil, a sprinkle of Maldon sea salt flakes and a few grinds of fresh black pepper served with grilled sour dough baguette is  elegant simplicity.

Using a good quality grilled bread and whatever garnishes you think would embellish your crostini such as roasted cherry tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes or olivada will knock it out of the park!

Having made fresh ricotta often over the years with mixed results, I finally figured out why my cheese was not consistently successful. Most recipes call for lemon juice to separate the curds from the whey. I realized that it was impossible to determine the acidity of one lemon to the next which is why my fresh ricotta sometimes failed. I experimented with white wine vinegar and proved my theory that using white wine vinegar removes the wild card.

FRESH RICOTTA – makes 1 cup

  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup whipping/heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

THE STEPS:

  1. Place milk, cream and salt in a deep medium sized sauce pan over medium high heat.
  2. Bring mixture to a boil.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in vinegar.
  4. Allow to sit undisturbed for 10 minutes
  5. Meanwhile line a fine sieve with 2 sheets of dampened cheesecloth.After milk mixture has separated, using a slotted spoon, carefully lift the soft curds into a cheesecloth lined sieve
  6. Allow to drain for up to 2 hours at room temperature.
  7. Once the ricotta has drained, carefully scrape all of the cheese into a serving bowl to serve immediately or an airtight container and refrigerate for future use..
  8. Discard the whey, unless you have another use for it.

THE LOVE: Take your time lifting the curds from the whey; they are very delicate!

Thanks for reading and stay safe. xo