How is ricotta classified?
(Homemade) Ricotta is an Italian dairy product, that in the original language is called latticino. It is generally classified as cheese, but this is not 100% correct. In fact, ricotta is made from milk whey left over from the production of other cheeses. The name comes from this process: ricotta means “recooked” or “refined”. The one we consume more frequently comes from cow’s milk. Alternatively, it can be made from goat, sheep, or water buffalo milk.
In modern times, ricotta can be made using only fresh milk and an additional ingredient to acidify it: for instance, lemon, as we use in this recipe. A replacement for lemon is vinegar, but we never tried it.
Homemade ricotta is a very simple and fast-to-make dish. The steps are few and easy. You won’t even need a thermometer during the cooking process. In fact, you will realize when the milk starts to boil. At that moment, you will need to continue your process and you won’t need to know the exact temperature of the milk.
How to eat homemade ricotta
As the actual time of preparing ricotta is 10 minutes (excluding the time it needs to sit in the refrigerator), it’s perfect for a variety of dishes, both sweet and savory. Ricotta is quite versatile and you can use in several ways.
Homemade ricotta brings back many memories of my childhood because, in my family, it’s common to have ricotta as a dessert with some sugar on top. When I was a child, it was one of my favorite desserts. Fast and very tasty! I don’t mind eating it even now! Alternatively, you can make a sweet ricotta pie (maybe with chocolate chips inside or with an additional layer of marmalade – a great combination).
Still, keeping an eye on the sweet side, ricotta can be easily used in cheesecakes or in crumbled cakes with Nutella. Ricotta and Nutella together are a winning team.
If you prefer savory dishes, you can make pasta with ricotta or crepes with ricotta and spinach. Alternatively, an easy way to cook it is with tuna or spinach and make small balls. If you prefer to match your homemade ricotta with vegetables, why not try a wrap of grilled vegetables filled with this latticino?
How to store homemade ricotta
As specified in the recipe, with 1 liter of milk, you will be able to make 200-250gr of ricotta, two-three portions based on what you will use it for.
If you are unable to finish your homemade ricotta in one go, you can conserve it in the fridge for a couple of days. We do not recommend freezing it as it will lose its texture.
Alternatively, and based on what you make, you can consider freezing the entire dish instead of only your homemade ricotta.
Pour the milk into a pot over a medium-high heat
In the meanwhile, squeeze half lemon with a juicer and keep it aside
Before the milk would boil, when it reaches around 90°, take it off the heat and add the lemon in the pot
Mix for a few seconds and let it rest for 10 minutesDuring this time you will see the curd and whey separating with the help of the lemon
Prepare a strainer over a bowl and line it with a cloth. We used a regular kitchen towel
Brake the formed curd with a spoon or a ladle and start scooping the big curds and transfering them to the strainer. Then pour the remaining curd and the whey over the strainer.
When the curd is over, place the container with the strainer in the fridge for 2-3 hours until it solidifies
You can replace lemon with apple vinegar if you wish.