Creamy Ricotta Cheese

Cover

Prep time: 1 minute
Cook time: 20 min

If you’re like me, you grew up pronouncing ricotta cheese as “regotta,” because your Sicilian American father emphatically shouted “REGAUT!” anytime the cheese was incorporated into a meal. And then the cold world hit you and you realized at age 25 that you looked a jackass “mispronouncing” your beloved cheese.

So here we are. I stand corrected on the American pronunciation, but you, my friends, are about to stand corrected as to how much of a winner this recipe is. Just ask my husband. You’re probably thinking, “This has got to stop somewhere. You now trying to make cheese?” Well folks, soon enough YOU will be making cheese. Because it’s economical. And fantastic. And easy as [ricotta] pie. It’s a real thing. Look it up.

But really, ricotta cheese is quite expensive. A portion enough for a family sized meal costs at least $4, if not $7 for the large container. My recipe costs under $3, and you will know exactly what’s in it.

Ingredients
2 quarts 2% milk, it cannot be ultra pasteurized (pasteurized is ok)
1/8 C lemon juice
1/8 C white vinegar
1/2 tsp salt

Directions
1. Bring milk to 200 degrees in a pot set on medium heat. Do not let it go to a boil. Discard any skin that forms on top.

2. Once milk reaches temperature, remove it from heat source and add the remaining ingredients. Let stand for approximately 10 minutes. You will see curds forming almost immediately.

Ready to strain

You can see that clumps have formed here, but there is a lot of liquid. Do not worry – about half the milk turns to “whey” and will eventually be discarded after straining. There are also a number of small curds that you can’t see until you have strained the mixture.

3. If your milk is not curdled enough after ten minutes, simply add more lemon juice 1 T at a time, and wait approximately 3 minutes.

4. Spoon the biggest curds into a pastry cloth lined sieve. Once you’ve spooned the large curds, pour the remainder through it. Let sit for about a half hour, or longer if you prefer it thicker. I like mine to be creamy.

Straining

Strain the cheese based on how thick or creamy you like ricotta. When you are finished straining, be sure to scrape the curds off the cheese cloth.

That’s it! Be sure to refrigerate after making. The cheese should stay good in your refrigerator for about a week. I love to make this recipe for pizza, and drop lumps of ricotta over the veggies. Ricotta also amps up any baked ziti recipe. Let’s face it – ricotta makes the world a better place.

Hungry for more great recipes? Explore more Lawyer in the Kitchen!

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