Growing up in the Chicagoland area, I was a bit spoiled as a child when it came to certain foods. The prevalence of Italian grocers and small restaurants ensured that some of the freshest Italian ingredients were readily available. One of these ingredients was good ricotta cheese.
After moving to Florida with my family, I could only find mass produced ricotta that was closer to sour cream than the thick almost sliceable cheese I was used to. Luckily, my wife came along and learned how to make good ricotta homemade – and its easy.
Ricotta is made by heating milk and cream to a boil, adding an acid as a curdling agent, and then separating the curds (the cheese) from the whey by hanging in a cheesecloth. The acid and the salt makes a big impact on the flavor of the cheese ranging from a sweet dessert cheese to a savory side dish for a flavorful pasta.
In our version, we used good white wine vinegar to provide a bit of tartness and truffle salt to add a delicious savory flavor that pairs well with our pasta recipe, My Grandmother’s Spaghetti and Meatballs. Feel free to experiment with substituting these two ingredients to create entirely different flavors!
A savory ricotta cheese recipe featuring black truffle flavor.
In our version of the recipe, we used 5% black truffle salt. The percentage of truffle in the truffle salt will have a large impact on how much truffle flavor comes out in the final product.
The cheesecloth used will have an impact on the thickness of the cheese. Using cheesecloth with larger holes will produce thicker, drier cheese, but less of it.