A few posts back I wrote about how my dad makes his own Parmesan cheese. I've been meaning to write part 2 of that blog post to show how he uses the leftover whey from making the Parmesan, to make homemade ricotta. It's a little late, but here it is.
Click the title of this post, or the "read more" link to see how he makes this delicate cheese.
Before I go on I should probably mention that there are plenty of homemade ricotta recipes all over the web that call for whole milk, vinegar or lemon juice, and salt. This is traditional Italian ricotta, or more accurately, ricottone. Ricotta is the Italian word for "re-cooked," which is exactly what this is. It's just re-cooked milk.
My dad's traditional method is pretty simple. But it is time consuming, and you have to observe the formation of the ricotta carefully so as not to over-boil or under cook.
Making Traditional Italian Ricottone
- Use the leftover liquid (whey) from making other cheese, like Parmesan or Mozzarella
- Bring this liquid to a boil. During that time, you must very slowly mix it from time to time so that the liquid on the bottom does not burn.
- Eventually, the liquid will start to solidify into soft mounds of ricotta cheese. You need to watch it very carefully, because if it boils too much, the ricotta will evaporate. If it doesn't boil enough, you might not get enough ricotta. I never knew watching whey form into ricotta could be so riveting, but I have to admit, it kind of was.
- Once the ricotta has formed, skim it out with a slotted spoon and drop into mesh baskets or a fine sieve, or a bowl with cheesecloth. The excess liquid will seep out and leave the solid cheese behind.
Uses for Fresh Ricotta:
Ricotta is a very versatile cheese that is great in just about anything!
Check out the pictures below.
Homemade whole wheat toast topped with fresh ricotta, sliced apples, chopped almonds and drizzled with honey and sprinkled cinnamon.