Making your own ricotta might seem a big commitment, but it's actually a pretty simple and really quite rewarding process. Use it on fresh bread with salt flakes and a drizzle of good oil; on grilled bread with roasted peppers and olive paste; in pasta; with figs, or a dried fruit compote and floral honey for breakfast; crumbled over a lentil salad; spread on a platter with blanched spring-fresh broad beans and peas, torn mint and a good drizzle of peppery oil.
4 cups full-cream milk
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp salt
1. Add the milk, buttermilk and salt to a saucepan and heat until just under the boil. Turn the heat right down so that it simmers very slowly for five minutes, then turn off the heat and stand for 10 minutes.
2. Line a large strainer with a few layers of muslin and stand over a large bowl. Spoon the curds into the strainer and set aside to drain for an hour or so. You can now use the ricotta, or refrigerate for later use. For a firmer curd, leave the ricotta in the muslin and squeeze out the moisture regularly over a few days.
1. Regular milk works perfectly well for this recipe, but an organic, unhomogenised milk makes fantastically creamy and delicious ricotta.
2. You can easily multiply this recipe if needed, but only make enough to last you a few days, as it's best fresh.
3. Don't throw out the leftover whey. It can be used for lacto-fermenting vegetables, in breadmaking, or for adding to soaking legumes and grains, which can help to make them more readily digestible and nutritious.
* The original recipe stated the yield as 300-500gm. This has been ammended.