Creamy ricotta

23

PREP TIME

10 min

Makes

1 3/4 cup

Creamy ricotta

Creamy ricotta. (Photo, Angus Fergusson.)

Enjoy this fresh Italian cheese in easy weeknight dinners or a light dessert - or just spread it on toast.


Ingredients

  • 2 L 3.25% milk , at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp 35% cream

Instructions

  • Line a large fine-mesh metal strainer with a triple layer of cheesecloth large enough to hang over the edges. Set over an 8-cup measuring cup.
  • Pour milk into a large, very wide saucepan and heat over high. Stir often until milk becomes steamy and frothy around the edges or reads 185F on a thermometer, about 8 min. Turn off heat.
  • Stir in lemon juice and salt. Let stand until the liquid turns a yellowish colour and milky-white curds float to the surface, about 2 min. Gradually pour mixture into the prepared strainer. Let sit, stirring curds very gently once or twice, until about 7 cups of liquid has drained off, about 5 min. Discard liquid.
  • Transfer cheese into a bowl. Refrigerate until chilled. Just before using, stir in cream. Ricotta will keep well, refrigerated, up to 1 week.

Variations

Low-fat ricotta: Omit cream. Ricotta will be less smooth. Use in any recipe.

Olive oil ricotta: Stir in 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil along with cream.

Herbed ricotta: Stir in 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley, chives or thyme along with cream.

Lemon ricotta: Stir in 1 tbsp lemon zest along with cream.

Four Ways to Use It:

Roasted-tomato crostini: Slice 1 pint grape tomatoes in half, toss with olive oil, chopped thyme, salt and pepper and roast on a baking sheet at 425F for 15 min. Spread Creamy Ricotta generously on toasted baguette slices and top with tomatoes. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

Ricotta dumplings: Whisk 2 eggs with 1 cup Olive Oil Ricotta, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp each nutmeg and pepper. Stir in 3/4 cup all-purpose flour. Drop 1-tbsp balls into simmering salted water. Simmer until they float to the surface, 2 to 3 min. Drain and serve with any simple tomato sauce. Garnish with parmesan.

Creamy olive & herb pasta: Toss cooked bow tie pasta with Herbed Ricotta , chopped sun-dried tomatoes, chopped kalamata olives and cream in a frying pan until warmed. Season with pepper.

Honey-berry tartlets: Sweeten lemon ricotta with a little honey, then spoon into baked tart shells. Top with fresh berries and drizzle with more honey.

Ingredient Tip:

Kosher salt is best, as the iodine in table salt can make ricotta taste bitter.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 132,
  • Protein
  • 8 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 1 g,
  • Fat
  • 11 g,
  • Sodium
  • 112 mg.