Ricotta is one of the easiest cheeses to make, but it can transform a ho-hum recipe into something special. RM makes incredible grilled pizza and this recipe for scratch ricotta partnered with Soupy sausage and sage is truly a transformative combination.
And it is easy. First, you need a huge pot. Think of your mama’s caldo pot and you are on the right track. The pot needs to hold two gallons of liquid. You will need a gallon of whole milk and a gallon of buttermilk.
Pour the two types of milk into the jumbo pot and heat until you see steam. Then reduce the heat to low and allow the mixture to cook. Ricotta means “recooked” in Latin so that is what you are doing, literally recooking the milk. It takes about 20 minutes for the whey and the fat to separate. Skim the ricotta cheese from the whey using a ladle or mesh strainer and allow to drain for 3 hours.
You can use it right away or pack it into a container and refrigerate for use all week. Great in lasagna, spread on crostini and drizzled with good olive oil, or eaten plain with your favorite toppings. For a sweet dish, you can add cocoa powder and honey and stir it well. Tastes like pudding. This recipe makes four cups of ricotta. I have tried other recipes involving lemon juice and other steps but none turned out as good and easy as this one. I found the recipe in a cookbook I bought in Vermont. At our next Ashland Sunday Supper, this ricotta recipe will be an ingredient in one of the courses.