Homemade Ricotta

July 19, 2011

I’ve paid an obscene amount of money for good ricotta from Bellwether Farms, which I discovered in Point Reyes.  Could I make my own and save some dough?  My friend Ken suggested Salt & Fat’s recipe (note: This link no longer works.  Please use the better recipe on Steamy Kitchen) and low and behold, it worked very well – the milk curdled and the cheese drained dry in cheese cloth.  I used raw milk and cream from Rainbow Grocery to enhance the flavor and while that turned out well, the texture was disappointing – a little to dry and crumbly for my taste.  This was not professionally made ricotta.  To be a little less harsh however, it was still good cheese.  I topped bread with the ricotta, honey, and sliced almonds as well as used it in an arugula and prosciutto calzone.  Both were quite delicious and I’m giving you my recipe (adapted from Gourmet) for the latter.  Whether you use your own or buy good quality ricotta, it’s a great feature for the cheese.

Arugula, Prosciutto and Ricotta Calzone

1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
5 oz baby arugula (8 cups packed)
6 oz whole-milk ricotta (2/3 cup)
3 oz whole-milk mozzarella, coarsely grated
2 tablespoons of finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 large egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
3 oz prosciutto, torn into strips
1/4 cup pinenuts, toasted
1 lb pizza dough (homemade or store-bought)

Put oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 450°F.

Cook garlic in oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add arugula and cook, stirring frequently, until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a sieve and press hard on arugula to squeeze out as much excess liquid as possible, then coarsely chop.

Stir together ricotta, mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano, yolk, salt, and pepper until blended, then stir in arugula and pine nuts.

Halve dough, then roll out each piece into a large round with a rolling pin.  In one half of round, spread half of cheese filling, then top with half of prosciutto strips. Fold dough in half to enclose filling and form a semicircle. Press edges together to seal. Beginning at 1 end and working toward the other, stretch sealed edge outward, pinching and rolling edge to form a rope. Transfer to baking sheet. Make one more calzone in same manner, transferring to baking sheet.

Bake calzones until golden and puffed, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on baking sheet 5 minutes before serving.

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  • avatar
    Reply katie July 19, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    ooh! i have been wanting to try to make ricotta since i saw this: http://smittenkitchen.com/2011/06/rich-homemade-ricotta/

    proportions are a little bit different (smaller milk:cream ratio)…dunno if that would make a difference as far as texture, if you felt this was dry? still looks yummy…

    • avatar
      Reply Elena July 20, 2011 at 10:17 am

      Ooh, I’ll try her recipe next time!

  • avatar
    Reply Costa July 20, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Very nice presentation. Looks better than the NY Times equivalent page.

    • avatar
      Reply Elena July 20, 2011 at 10:23 am

      A compliment befitting a proud dad :)

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