We make ricotta all the time. It couldn’t be easier. Ricotta means “twice cooked” in Italian because traditionally it’s made from the whey left when making mozzarella. We have used raw milk, goats’ milk, organic milk, and supermarket milk, and it works out just fine.–Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer
LC A Ricotta by Any Other Name Isn't Ricotta Note
To echo authors Hamilton and Hirsheimer, it couldn’t be easier to make your own ricotta. And to quote The New York Times and their Diner’s Journal blog, “Thinking about making ricotta is only marginally easier than actually making it.”
Although let’s clarify one thing. What the authors and the NYT refer to above isn’t ricotta, per se. It’s, well, cheater’s ricotta. Or what we refer to as “ricotta.” (Any time you make “ricotta” by souring milk with a little lemon juice rather than slowly simmering the whey leftover from cheese making, it’s only right to use air bunnies around the term.) Whereas this cheater’s ricotta is similar to real ricotta in appearance, taste, and texture, it’s just not quite the same as can be had from the real deal. Close. But not the same. Oh, and why is it dry looking? The cheese is well-drained for use in ricotta cheesecake. For softer curds, skim the curds immediately from the pot and don’t let them drain as long.
Still, it’s a quick fix for when you’re feeling lazy or your craving for cheesecake just can’t wait. If what you want is true ricotta prontamente, no air bunnies, sidle over to a proper cheese counter or a dairy farmer at your local greenmarket where you can find tubs of fresh, creamy, luscious, artisanal ricotta loveliness. (Remember that nursery rhyme about curds and whey? We have to say, we only recently realized how savvy Little Miss Muffett really was.)
Any extra “ricotta” or ricotta that’s left in your fridge from your intended use can be drizzled with honey and spooned up for breakfast, slathered on crostini and dribbled with a heady olive oil, tossed with freshly cooked pasta and herbs or vegetables, and…shall we go on? We think you get the idea.
Fresh Whole Milk Ricotta
- Quick Glance
- Quick Glance
- 30 M
- 2 H
- Makes 3 cups
IngredientsEmail Grocery List
Recipe Testers Reviews
[Elsa M Jacobson]
I was lucky to be in one of the eight states that allows retail sales of raw milk and I purchased raw goat milk to try with this recipe—and it was a huge success! I used only the lemon and no yogurt, and I salted it at the very end because I wanted to experience the goat milk version in its purest form initially. After 15 minutes, I felt I had enough curds to proceed and transferred then. I then took this cheese and made the Goat Cheese with Olives, Lemon, and Thyme without the olives and it was lovely and extra-much appreciated because the cheese was homemade! These homemade cheeses are very perishable and I cannot vouch for being able to keep it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, in either its plain or its marinated state. It disappeared long before then.