Making Fresh Ricotta at home.

I have been in love with fresh ricotta ever since I first tasted it when I worked at Cafe Fanny  in Berkeley many years ago.  It was my favorite way to start the day. A summer breakfast staple when topped with fresh picked raspberries and drizzled with a the earthy and nutty Italian chestnut honey.

I've heard the buzz about how easy it is to make fresh ricotta. If it's anything like making jam, I thought,  it's not as easy as it looks. So, I finally decided to try it myself.

Not only is it super easy, but it's also utterly delicious. Light and fluffy, mild and sweet.  And really, it's just good ingredients doing all the work.

How to make fresh ricotta:
1 half gallon whole milk  {use the best quality milk you can buy}
1-1/2 cups cream {see above}
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

In a large saucepan, heat the milk and cream over medium heat until the temperature reaches 180 degrees.  Turn off the heat, add the lemon juice and let sit covered for 15 minutes.

Remove the curds from the liquid with a sieve or small slotted spoon into a bowl layered with cheese cloth. Tie up the ends of the cheese cloth and hang it over the bowl so it can drain any remaining liquid from the curd.  Let sit for about 2 hours.

Makes about 4 cups.

That's it! You've made ricotta! Simple and easy as that. {I now wonder why more people, or restaurants, don't make their own ricotta.}*

There's all kinds of wonderful ways you can use your fresh ricotta.
Here's a few tempting + simple ideas to try: 

  1. Add basil pesto and layer it in lasagna with mozzarella and freshly sauteed greens.
  2. Season and stuff it into Zucchini blossoms as a simple starter to a summer meal.
  3. Top it with cranberry conserve and serve as a cheese dip with crackers or toasted bread rounds.
  4. Toss it with fresh pasta and sauteed summer vegetables 
  5. Fold it into a frittata or scrambled eggs 
  6. Mix it with fresh sauteed spinach and stuff it into pasta shells or ravioli  and serve it with a light heirloom tomato sugo sauce. 
Any way you use it, you will love that you made it yourself! 

* Thanks to Noon restaurant in Atlanta for the inspiration and recipe.

Buon appetito! copyright 2010 Alisa Barry

1 comment:

Tracy Page said...

Can't wait to try this! Thank you so much Alisa!