Ricotta cheese is traditionally a by-product of making cheese such as mozzarella and pecorino. However, you can make fresh ricotta from fresh cow or goat milk (or a blend of the two).
Ricotta is easy to make and uses ingredients (milk, salt and lemon or vinegar) and equipment found in most kitchens (a sieve or colander, saucepan, bowl, spoon, spatula, and an instant read pocket thermometer). You can control the consistency of ricotta cheese by the length of time you let it drain.
Ricotta smells fresh and tastes like the milk it is made from, so use the best and freshest organic dairy milk you can find.
Below we’ve listed links to websites with instructions on how to make your own ricotta cheese. Each one details a different method. We’ve also included recipes links below for using your delicious cheese.
Recipes for making ricotta cheese
Each of these recipes for making ricotta use slightly varying techniques and ingredients. So try them all and find the one that suits your cooking style.
- 101 Cookbooks Homemade Ricotta
- Fias Co Farm Ricotta Cheese Recipe
- Ina Garten Food Network Homemade Ricotta Recipe
- Epicurious Homemade Ricotta Cheese
- All Recipes Sicilian Homemade Ricotta
- Caio Italia Homemade Ricotta
Recipes and ideas for using ricotta cheese
You can simply enjoy ricotta ss a spread for toast or crackers with jam (sweet) or smoked salmon (savory). Here are some recipes that use ricotta:
- Chicken Garlic Pizza
- Ricotta and Tomato Tart
- Baked Ziti with Sausage
- White Cheese Chicken Lasagna
- Spinach Cheese Manicotti
- Easy Ricotta Gnocchi
- Fusilli with Fresh Spinach and Ricotta
- Italian Cream Cheese and Ricotta Cheesecake
- Ricotta Cheese Cookies
Ideas for using leftover whey after making ricotta cheese
In my experience, a quart of milk turns into 1 cup of ricotta cheese and 3 cups of whey. So what are some uses for leftover whey?
Whey ricotta: traditional recipes make ricotta from whey, You can also drain the whey from plain regular yogurt. Here are recipes for making ricotta from whey.
Here are more used for whey leftover from any of your cheesemaking adventures:
Baked goods: Substitute whey for milk or other liquids in recipes for baked goods such as yeast or quick breads, biscuits, and pancakes.
Smoothies: Replace some or all of the yogurt or milk when whipping up smoothies.
Cooking grains: Use it instead of water when boiling pasta, potatoes, or grains such as rice and quinoa.
Instead of chicken broth: Try substituting whey in recipes that call for chicken broth, such as soups, stews, and sauces. This whey tends to be tangy, so keep that in mind when considering the other ingredients in your dish.
Drink it: chill it and add sweetener if you like.