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


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    1 quart whole milk 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
    1/2 cup heavy cream 2 tablespoons white vinegar


    Prep: 15 min Total: 30 min (Quick)
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    • 1

      Place a double layer of rinsed cheesecloth in a sieve or strainer and set over a large bowl.

    • 2

      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.)

    • 3

      Turn off the heat, add the vinegar to the pot and let it sit undisturbed for about 2 minutes.

    • 4

      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.)

    • 5

      Strain the curds through the sieve and let drain over the bowl for about 15 to 20 minutes.

    • 6

      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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