Homemade Ricotta Cheese: Easy, Peasy
Here’s a riddle for you.
Which cheese is twice-cooked and delicious as a dip, spread on toast, or layered in lasagna.
The Rich History of Ricotta
Ok, ricotta is technically not a cheese, but a cheese curd that is twice cooked.
The word “Ricotta” means “recooked” in Latin.
The process for ricotta actually begins with whey, a by-product in the making of Provolone and Mozzarella.
The whey is captured and “recooked” into Ricotta.
It’s widely accepted that whenever it was first created, the intent was simple – make the most out of the food.
Its origins can be traced back centuries.
Some believe that it originated in the heart of Sicily.
Others maintain that travelers coming from the Mediterranean or other Latin countries made it along the Roman countryside where resources were scarce.
It had a nice taste, went well with a variety of foods and got these early people the biggest bang for their food-making efforts.
Nutritional Value of Ricotta
Its texture is soft, it’s taste is light and sweet, and its nutritional value is pretty impressive.
It’s chock full of minerals, like calcium, selenium and phosphorus!
It’s also rich in protein, low in lactose, is great for strengthening bones and balancing hormones.
And it’s extremely versatile.
Put it in pancakes, in a pasta dish, on pizza, or in a salad.
You can’t go wrong.
The simplicity and enjoyment of ricotta has stood the test of time.
Different Process – Same Results
And today you can enjoy the simplicity of ricotta for reasons other than necessity and even make right in your own kitchen.
No provolone or mozzarella production required.
With whole milk, a little fresh cream, lemon juice or vinegar, a bit of salt, you can have homemade ricotta in just minutes.
My favorite way to enjoy it is drizzled with some olive oil and a twist of cracked pepper on a piece of toasted bread.
Give my ricotta recipe a try.
And feel a bit like, your connected to the people and places who gave us this lovely cheese all those years ago.
Looking for a recipe? Try homemade ricotta in Baked Ziti!Print
This is a light and tasty appetizer. Your friends will think you slaved when you tell them the ricotta is homemade.
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons white vinegar
- olive oil
- lemon zest
- lemon juice
- cracked pepper
- Heat milk, cream, and salt in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat.
- As the milk begins to warm, stir gently, almost continuously so the milk mixture does not scorch.
- Once milk mixture heats to 180 degrees F., remove from heat and add vinegar.
- Stir once or twice to distribute vinegar, then leave milk undisturbed for 5 minutes.
- Line a colander with cheesecloth, or other material (I use a clean men’s handkerchief) and pour the milk mixture into the colander.
- Allow ricotta to drain, until desired consistency from 5 – 20 minutes. The more time the ricotta drains, the drier the curds will be.
- Spread on a serving platter, drizzle with olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice and top with cracked pepper.
If you don’t serve it right away, store the ricotta in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
- Calories: 168.99 kcal
- Sugar: 8.77 g
- Sodium: 271.42 mg
- Fat: 12.62 g
- Saturated Fat: 7.6 g
- Carbohydrates: 8.36 g
- Protein: 5.53 g
- Cholesterol: 43.44 mg