ricotta made at home
I've been making ricotta at home, and the finished product is the best I've had since leaving Italy.
So if anyone's interested, I've linked the Chocolate and Zucchini blog article on it. It's remarkably simple, requiring only milk and buttermilk.
Some changes I've made:
A clean, cotton kitchen towel works just as well as muslin at draining.
Whilst this is best done with whole milk, the yield will be just the same with low fat milk, but the texture is less creamier. I therefore drain it for less time in order to keep it from being a bit rubbery/dry.
You don't need a thermometer; just a sharp eye. For those who don't know what whey looks like, it's yellowish liquid. Don't take the milk off the stove the first moment you see it curdling; rather leave it until you have a heavy, cloudy layer of curd, rather than just flecks of it.
This is quick, easy and I highly reccomend it.
Kate, you beat me to it. About a month ago, I started making my own ricotta (also inspired by Chocolate & Zucchini blog) ... and I can't imagine ever, ever buying ricotta from the store again.
However, I found another recipe I like slightly better. I've linked it below.
It's very easy (you just need about 15-20 minutes to watch, and stir, a pot of milk heating up on the stove) and yields EXCELLENT results. I now make it every week on demand from everyone else in the house.
I use 2 liters of farm-fresh whole milk (3.8% fat) to 500 ml buttermilk. It keeps for about a week in the fridge -- although mine never makes it that long! -- and gets firmer as it ages.
Homemade ricotta is delicious spread on bread and drizzled with the honey I brought back from Siberia (!). It also is excellent on hot pasta with green onions and chopped tomatoes, olive oil, and fresh black pepper.
Another idea is to boil some spirelli or rotini, heat up some tomato sauce in one pan, and saute some chanterelles in olive oil with grated onion and one small chopped tomato in another. Add a heaping cup of parsley to chanterelles when cooked through. Arrange hot pasta on plate, top with tomato sauce, then a bit of chanterelle mixture, and finally with several spoonfuls of homemade ricotta. Season to taste -- quick and delicious.
I also like fresh ricotta on top of cold, leftover boiled potatoes with a drizzle of olive oil and s&p.
Fresh ricotta, honey, and figs...
Can you tell I'm a maniac for the stuff?!?