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.
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
- Place milk, cream and salt in a deep medium sized sauce pan over medium high heat.
- Bring mixture to a boil.
- Remove from heat and stir in vinegar.
- Allow to sit undisturbed for 10 minutes
- 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
- Allow to drain for up to 2 hours at room temperature.
- 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..
- 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