Ricotta is a white, moist, fresh, soft cheese with a slightly sweet flavor.
The word Ricotta means “cooked again.” In fact, this cheese is made by reheating the whey from another cheese, such as pecorino (romano sheep cheese). The whey, drained off while making other cheeses, is reheated, then skimmed and placed in wicker baskets to drain.
Technically, ricotta is not actually a cheese, but rather a cheese by-product. Italian ricotta is generally made from sheep’s milk. Cow’s milk ricotta is also widely popular. It is sweeter in taste than sheep’s milk ricotta and has a less-intrusive taste.
makes approximately 1 lb (440 g)
2 quarts (2 liters approximately) whole milk
2/3 cup (160 cc) whole milk yogurt
In a saucepan, pour the milk .
and the yogurt.
Place the saucepan over medium heat until the temperature reaches about 190 F (90 C). Use a thermometer to check the temperature. A higher temperature is ok, but don’t let the milk boil.
Line a colander with cheesecloth.
Stirring the milk will let you see the separation between the solid cheese lumps and the grayish liquid when the cheese begins to form.
After the lumps begin forming, keep the saucepan on the heat 4–5 minutes longer to allow the cheese to fully coagulate.
Turn off the heat. Using a strainer, remove the cheese and place it in the colander. Lightly press the surface of the cheese to facilitate the elimination of liquid.
Leave the ricotta to drain until no more liquid comes out, but don’t over-drain it or the cheese will be too dry. If the ricotta turns out to be too granular, place it in a food processor and run the blade until it’s smooth before using it in a preparation.
Ricotta is a popular ingredient in many Italian recipes and desserts, and this fresh cheese is excellent by itself to complement your breakfast or as a simple dessert. Enjoy it just adding a little bit of sugar, honey, or syrup or add some coffee or jam.