Let’s make cheese!
Ummm…it’s really easy! Literally, anyone can make ricotta. You need only a few basic ingredients and a couple common kitchen supplies.
Making ricotta cheese from scratch is new to me. For years I was a Polly-o girl. Then I became a Calabro fan. But now, after seeing it continually pop up in Ina Garten’s cook books and finally trying it myself, I can’t imagine EVER buying pre-made ricotta cheese again. First and foremost, I love the consistency and the rich creaminess. The bonus is that it’s less expensive than buying a lesser quality pre-made, and I produce no waste from the commonly seen plastic tub it is sold in. What is better than that?
And lets face it- it’s pretty cool to be able to say you made your own ricotta cheese.
- 4 cups whole milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- White wine vinegar (or lemon juice)
- Kosher salt
- A basic sieve
- Cheese cloth
*IMPORTANT NOTE: The milk and cream must NOT be Ultra- Pasteurized. The process of ultra pasteurization kills off the enzymes required for it to turn into cheese! (Trust me on this… I learned the hard way!) You will end up with a pot of hot dairy and nothing more.
Ricotta is an incredibly flexible ingredient. My absolute favorite way to use homemade ricotta is to make classic cheese raviolis, because, well, I am obsessed with making raviolis. This ricotta is so light, and I roll fresh pasta that is oh, so thin! The end result is like eating delicious, Italian air. It will also transform spaghetti and meatballs just by adding a dollop of ricotta in place of parmesan giving it a creamy, indulgent richness. Another favorite of mine is to serve it simply with crostini toast. Or, make fig ricotta cake, or ricotta pancakes, or scrambled eggs with a touch of ricotta. Or…just do as I do and grab a spoon and eat it right out of the bowl and hope no one catches you 😉