appetizer, appetizers, Baked spaghetti, Cheap, cheese, crusty bread, easy, homemade, homemade cheese, homemade ricotta, Italian, Lasagne, milk, olive, olive oil, olive tapanade, recipes, Ricotta, spaghetti, stone fruits, stuffed shells
I remember when I was a little girl how many gifts I received that were handmade. …A quilted blanket, my favorite rag doll with the yellow yarn hair, a wonderful tin of spectacularly buttery COOKIES!!! Homemade things are so much better than store bought.
But isn’t homemade pricey and time consuming? Sometimes, in some cases, there is a way to have the best of both worlds. Let’s start this journey with an AH-MAZING recipe for homemade ricotta cheese that’s more affordable than store bought and OH so much better in taste! NO comparison! With four ingredients and five minutes of your time, you can have homemade ricotta cheese for all of your recipes. I won’t lie, this is the best spread for toast ever. EVAH. It usually doesn’t make it into the lasagna or baked shells…ever. It’s devoured way before then with some crusty bread and a crisp bottle of Pinot Gris. At least my priorities are straight!
Homemade Ricotta Cheese
- 4 cups whole milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3 tsp. GOOD white wine vinegar or Fresh Lemon Juice (I use a combination of both!)
* You will need a stainless steel or enamel pot, cheesecloth and a large mesh strainer. This recipe makes approximately 2 cups of cheese.
Place the milk and cream in a stainless steel pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, then stir in the salt. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in white wine vinegar or lemon juice. Let sit for about 1 minute. Cover your strainer with 2 squares of cheesecloth, one on top of the other. Allow your cheese to drain for at least an hour. The longer it drains the thicker it will become. I prefer draining time to be between an hour and an hour and a half. Scoop your cheese into a container and you’re done! YOU have made ricotta cheese! Your ricotta can be refrigerated for up to one week.
NOTE: If you prefer your cheese even thicker, reduce the cream to one cup. I prefer the texture given in the original recipe.
Warning: Once you make this cheese, you will never go back to store bought. Your family will not allow you to go back to store bought and YES, they will be able to tell! You can’t say I didn’t warn you!
“I had no idea how different the taste and texture would be. It reminds me of the difference in a silk purse and sow’s ear!” ~ My Hass Sweet, husband extraordinaire
Ideas for Fresh Ricotta Cheese:
Now that I have my cheese, what can I do with it?
I use my ricotta in all dishes requiring the cheese. There is no difference in cooling times or methods, just a better, fresher, smoother taste. Lasagna, Baked Shells, Baked Spaghetti are all wonderful dishes where you can use the cheese.
You can create masterful appetizers with this cheese by using crusty bread spread with the cheese, then topped with grilled stone fruits and honey as shown in the top photograph, or sprinkled with black pepper and olive tapanade, drizzled with olive oil as shown in the photo immediately above. It’s also incredible topped with balsamic roasted cherry tomatoes and fresh, torn Basil leaves.
You can easily add more flavor and turn this into an herbed ricotta by adding 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh herbs of your choice.
And if YOU come up with more uses or ideas, I would LOVE to hear them!
I like easy. Bon appetit y’all!