Yes! You can make this yourself: homemade ricotta! Sounds like unchartered territory, right? Who makes their own when you can just buy a huge tub of it? Well, this Italian girl challenges you to rethink it.
Want to impress your friends? Disclaimer: I impressed myself with this recipe. Damn, this is good, I marveled! And so easy. There are just a few steps and a bit of waiting but it's SO WORTH IT. I don't think I can go back to the tub unless 100% desperate and mind you, I'm more than three quarters Italian and I grew up on the tub. Thank you, POLLY-O but I won't be needing your services anymore.
With this ricotta, it can go sweet, it can go savory. It's incredibly versatile. We made it with herbs and spread on crusty bread with fresh tomatoes and a drizzle of olive oil. It was amazing. The entire batch was devoured in less than 30 minutes. (yeah, it was that good.)
I can't wait to make lasagna or baked ziti so I can use the homemade ricotta in it. It seriously tastes so much better than the store-bought. I think my Italian street cred has increased tenfold since making this stuff.
Read below for the recipe!
4 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons vinegar
herbs of your choice
first set your sieve lined with 2 piece of cheesecloth in a large bowl.
in a large pot, combine the milk, heavy cream, and salt and bring to a rolling boil.
turn off the heat then add the vinegar. let stand for 1 minute.
this is the fun part- you'll see it curdle and look quite gross, actually. but perseverance is key.
pour the mixture into the sieve and let it drain for 25 minutes, minimum. the longer it drains, the thicker the cheese will be. it's entirely up to you.
make sure to empty the bowl periodically.
congrats, you've made ricotta! from here, you can make it sweet or savory. as you can tell, we went savory and added basil and scallion, some salt and pepper and served them on tomato and crostini and a bit of olive oil to taste.
it will save in an airtight container for about 5 days- but I'm doubtful, as you'll probably want to eat the whole thing!
This was such a fun recipe to make. I can't stress how easy it was. And we had all the ingredients and supplies on hand. *Side note: You can use paper towels if you don't have cheesecloth, I'm sure it'd work fine.
I'd never made cheese before so the process was really neat to see firsthand. This would be a fun thing to make with children, as the simple ingredients transform magically into cheese. Science experiment, anyone?
Homemade ricotta is a perfect appetizer- your friends will swoon, trust me! Bonus- you can totally make it in advance, although I absolutely loved how it tasted warm. I'd like to take the sweet route next time. Perhaps crepes with lemon ricotta? And some fresh berries- yeah that sounds pretty good ;)
Give this impressive homemade ricotta a try- you won't be disappointed!