Ricotta cheese is a beautiful, light and creamy soft cheese that makes for a deliciously versatile component of both savoury and sweet dishes. It is wonderful spread over warm toast and drizzled with honey, baked in pies or cheesecakes, or crumbled over pizzas, pastas and salads. What’s more, you can make your own fresh and tasty ricotta in a matter of minutes, from just three pantry staple items!
- 1 litre milk (full cream milk will give the best flavour, but semi-skimmed is fine)
- 200ml thickened cream
- 4 tbsp white vinegar (or lemon juice)
- Pinch of salt (optional)
1. Put the milk and cream (and salt if using) in a saucepan and heat gently.
2. When it first begins to bubble, add the lemon juice.
3. Stir gently to combine until the milk starts to separate and the first curds form, then take off the heat.
4. Leave to stand for 5–10 minutes while the curds form.
5. Line a sieve with a couple of layers of fine cheesecloth and place over a large bowl.
6. Pour the mixture into the sieve and leave to drain for 10-15 minutes.
7. Squeeze out extra liquid depending on your preferred ricotta consistency.
8. Serve fresh or store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Be sure not to discard the leftover whey. It can be used in most baking recipes in place of water or milk, as a stock in soups and stews, as a marinade for tenderising meat, or as a flavourful substitute for water when cooking pasta, rice or vegetables.
We used some of our leftover whey to create this lovely, light and summery pasta sauce:
Zesty Whey Pasta Sauce
- 1 cup whey
- 100ml cream (leftover from making the ricotta)
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp crushed garlic
- 1 tsp dried chili flakes
- Salt and pepper to taste
We mixed all the ingredients together and simmered gently to reduce and thicken, then added halved mixed tomatoes, capers and cooked pasta, and topped with rocket and fresh, homemade ricotta.
We hope you enjoy making beautiful homemade ricotta with your family!
For other family pasta meals, check out this Pasta with Avocado Sauce and our Chicken Pasta Bake Recipe.