NZ Woman's Weekly

Retro recipe: Ricotta

This Italian cheese is relatively new to our palates, but would have been made by nanas– or nonnas – in Italy for hundreds of years.

It differs to cottage cheese in that it is finer, creamier and has a sweeter taste. I love it spread on toast with jam or lemon curd underneath. It is also delicious added to pasta or pizza.

I’ve been unable to use this recipe for a few years, as I couldn’t source a milk which would work with it. Most of the products we buy in have been modified in some way.

In my book, A Supermarket Companion, I wrote about the addition of permeates to our milk, which is a waste product in the dairy industry. The milk is pasteurised and homogenised, which makes turning it into cheese or yoghurt quite difficult.

I recently found Lewis Road Creamery non-homogenised full-fat milk. It is just like the fresh stuff I had as a child with a bit of cream on the top, and it produced a wonderful ricotta.

Please do try this – it’s so easy and you won’t be disappointed, as long as you have the right product. If you live near a farm, getting it straight from the source would be even better!

  • 650ml non-homogenised, full-fat milk
  • ¼ cup cream
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • ¼ tsp salt

1 Pour the milk and cream into a heavy-based saucepan. Gently heat until it is just scalding. Take your time with this next step – don’t rush it. When it is scalding, pour in the lemon juice and salt, stir once, then leave on the heat for a few minutes. You should notice the milk separates into curds and whey. This may take five minutes or so. As soon as this happens, take the pot off the heat and leave for 10 minutes.

2 Line a sieve with some clean muslin, a tea-towel, a sheet or cotton serviette, and pour the mixture into the sieve, making sure to put a bowl under it to catch the whey. Leave for 15 minutes. Tie the top of the cloth and hook the ball of cheese over your kitchen tap so it is dangling down. Leave for two to three hours to drip. When the cheese seems dry, remove and keep in the fridge.

One Response to “Retro recipe: Ricotta”

  1. mikejwoodnz Nov 17 2013, 3:44pm

    you said “making sure to put a bowl under it to catch the whey”

    Use the whey instead of milk for your baking and breadmaking :-)

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