|Homemade ricotta on toasted bread with basil and balsamic drizzle|
No seriously, I was making Kraft Dinner for lunch and decided to make ricotta with some extra milk I had (I know, who ever has "extra" milk? Well 2-litres and 3-litres of 2% milk was the exact same price so obviously I bought the 3L). The KD and the ricotta were done at the same time. I know there is a paradox at play here, but such is my life of a mother and lover of good food.
I did make this with 2% milk, but usually I make it with whole milk. You get a richer cheese that is, frankly, better. But lean ricotta is better than no ricotta, right?
I have a few recipes for ricotta bookmarked that I've referenced when making it before, but at the most basic level all you do is this:
1. Bring a litre (quart if you are outside of Canada) to a boil with 1/2 tsp kosher salt.
2. Turn off the heat and stir in the juice of 1 lemon or 3 tbsp of white vinegar
3. Milk will immediately separate into curds and whey. Line a colander with a few layers of cheesecloth, or alternatively use a clean piece of linen or cotton. If have a very fine mesh sieve you can use this rather than a lined colander (this is what I use).
4. Pour contents of pot into colander or sieve, letting the curds drain briefly but don't let them drain completely dry- you want a creamy ricotta. Taste the cheese and add more salt if desired. If you find you have drained off too much whey some milk can be stirred in to moisten the ricotta.
Save the whey if you are super thrifty like me- it is high in protein and can be used in smoothies or whatnot.
Here are some actual recipes from my bookmarks on making ricotta for your perusal. Apparently I'm a little obsessed with homemade ricotta judging by how many recipes I have collected.
DIY Ricotta from The Kitchn
Fresh Ricotta Cheese from Bon Appetit
Jennie's Homemade Ricotta from Too Many Cooks This recipe uses milk and cream, and buttermilk for the acid rather than lemon or vinegar
Rich Homemade Ricotta from Smitten Kitchen
Homemade Mascarpone from Vegetarian Ventures Have you seen what a tub of mascarpone costs?!? Making it at home is the same as making ricotta only using all cream rather than milk
And finally, here are some recipes from my bookmarks in which to use your fantastic ricotta. Aside from eating it with a spoon with the fridge open. That's never happened.
Ricotta Gnocchi from Four Seasons Kitchen If you plan in advance to make ricotta and use it for gnocchi let your ricotta drain more and you can skip right to mixing it with the other ingredients.
Vegetable Fusilli Bake with Ricotta Topping from LCBO Food and Drink
Roasted Squash and Ricotta Ravioli from Dinner with Julie
Roasted Fall Vegetable and Ricotta Pizza from Martha Stewart
Ricotta Blintzes with Lingonberry Syrup from Food and Wine
Whole Wheat Ricotta Blackberry Scones from 101 Cookbooks