and it is damn good! We get more milk than we can drink with our weekly CSA delivery. Our friendly farmer Jordan sent me a recipe for ricotta that is super easy, so I used the milks (cow and goat) from last week and this week to make about 2 cups of ricotta.
Homemade Ricotta (from the kitchens at Short Mountain Farm)
1 gallon milk (16 cups) [I only had 14 cups]
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 tsp. salt [this is my addition to the recipe]
1/2 tsp. baking soda
Heat milk to 195 degrees (I did this on low to medium-low heat, so it took a while. I also kept a constant watch on the thermometere -- didn't want it to boil and get all weird!).
Slowly stir in vinegar, which will separate the curds from the whey. Don't stir too much or the curds break up and it becomes a real challenge to scoop them out of the pan.
If needed, you can heat the mixture to 205 degrees, but I didn't.
Ladle curds into a cheesecloth-lined colander (over a bowl), and let drain. I then tied up the cheesecloth w/ a rubber band and hung it from a long-handled spatula across my sink for about 15 mins.
Mix the drained curds with the melted butter, salt, and baking soda (I did this in a metal bowl with a fork -- works really well).
Let cool before refrigerating. Use with in 3 days.
Macaroni-and-Ricotta Cheese (from Tanya's kitchen)
I made this recipe up to use what we had on hand for a quick and tasty dinner.
1/2 pound macaroni (I used short tube-shaped pasta)
1 cup homemade ricotta (I used all the ricotta I made, which was a bit too much!)
2 cups broccoli (or spinach, or asaparagus would be good, too)
1 tbsp. EVOO
salt and pepper, to taste
1/3 cup parmasean or romano cheese, freshly grated
1 cup chopped tomatoes (I didn't have any, but this would be so good with tomats!)
fresh basil, sliced, to taste
minced fresh garlic (one clove per serving)
red pepper flakes, optional
Cook pasta according to directions, adding broccoli last 2 mins. of cooking time. Drain and reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid.
Mix ricotta, EVOO, S & P, 1/2 cup par. cheese, and 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid.
Add hot pasta and broccoli. Stir until combined. Add more liquid if sauce is too thick.
Serve topped with fresh tomatoes, basil, garlic, red pepper flakes, and additional parm cheese, if desired.