Fresh ricotta beats the stuff from a plastic container any day of the week, but it can be hard to find in the store. This quick homemade version, which calls for whole milk and a little heavy cream for richness, is very similar.
Courtesy of Regan Burns Cafiso
|1 quart whole milk||1/2 teaspoon coarse salt|
|1/2 cup heavy cream||2 tablespoons white vinegar|
Place a double layer of rinsed cheesecloth in a sieve or strainer and set over a large bowl.
Combine the milk, cream and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat and bring to 200 degrees F, stirring occasionally. (If you don’t have a thermometer, milk should have bubbles forming on the surface, but should not be at a simmer.)
Turn off the heat, add the vinegar to the pot and let it sit undisturbed for about 2 minutes.
Slowly and gently stir the mixture with a wooden spoon for about 1 minute, or until the curds separate from the whey. (To check, fill the spoon with some of it: If there are white curds sitting in cloudy liquid, it is ready.)
Strain the curds through the sieve and let drain over the bowl for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Serve ricotta on crusty bread with a drizzle of olive oil and cracked black pepper, or use in lasagna, other pasta dishes or cannoli.
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