Today’s post is brought to you by the Italian pronunciation of “ricotta.” I don’t go around hyperpronouncing most Italian words like I’m Giada De Laurentiis or something, but the American pronunciation of ricotta is one that I just cringe at every time. “Ri-caught-a.” It’s like fingernails on a blackboard for me.
Say it with me now. “Ri-coat-a.” Roll your “r” slightly. Hold your “coat” for a fraction longer than you think you should. Can’t quite hear it in your mind? Here’s a good audio example.
Okay. I apologize for that brief interlude. So, what I really want to share is how I only recently learned that you can make ricotta at home. And it’s one of the simplest things you could imagine. Why have I not been making my own ricotta all this time? It only takes a few ingredients—which, just like in my butter post, the key advantage here is that you can hand select your ingredients to ensure high-quality deliciousness—and a bit of hands-off waiting time. The result is the freshest, purest, tastiest ricotta you’ve ever had.
2 ½ cups whole milk
½ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon distilled vinegar
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon sugar
Heat the milk and cream in a saucepan over low heat until the mixture reaches 180 degrees. Remove from heat and add vinegar, salt, and sugar. Stir until the mixture curdles. Pour into a cheesecloth- or paper towel-lined strainer that has been placed over a bowl. Allow to drain until cheese reaches your desired consistency (SeriousEats has a good draining time/consistency chart about a quarter of the way down the page). Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use. Makes about 1 cup.