We heard that this Creamy Ricotta Cheese recipe is an absolute must when your recipes call for ricotta. So we tried it – Maria Helm Sinskey’s Creamy Ricotta recipe (page 126 of Food & Wine November 2008 issue). You may not recognize it for ricotta, with its light, fluffy texture and creamier, sweeter taste. Once you’ve tried it, you may never go back to store-bought ricotta. Recommended for use in Baked Penne with Sausage, Fennel and Basil.
1.In a medium pot, warm milk and cream over moderately high heat until the surface becomes foamy and steamy and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the milk registers 185°F. Don't let the milk boil.
2.Remove pot from heat. Add vinegar and stir gently for 30 seconds. The mixture will curdle almost immediately. Add salt and stir for 30 seconds longer.
3.Cover pot with a clean towel and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours.
4.Line a large colander with several layers of cheesecloth, allowing several inches of overhang. Set the colander in a large bowl. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the curds to the colander. Carefully gather the corners of the cheesecloth and close with a rubber band. Let the ricotta stand for 30 minutes, gently pressing and squeezing the cheesecloth occasionally to drain off the whey.
5.Transfer the ricotta to a bowl and use at once, or cover and refrigerate.
6.The fresh ricotta can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.