More cheese! This cheese is even easier than mozzarella and it only uses the whey left over form mozzarella which means cheese from cheese!! Two for the price of one gallon. Love.
So, I’m not normally one to brag, but damn, I’m getting good at mozzarella. Bring over a gallon of whole milk and I’ll show you. I dare you. No seriously, I will. I’m getting closer and closer to getting it done in 30 min. Oh and then we can make ricotta too!
Once I had the mozzarella all drained from the whey, this is what I was left with. About 3 1/2 L. of whey. I had about 1/2 a quart in our fridge too, but I totally forgot to add it. Even though one of the main reasons why I made more mozzarella was to supplement that whey to make ricotta. Oops.
Luckily, making ricotta is soooooo easy. That whey? It just needs to be heated to a boil, about 200 degrees. Don’t let it boil over though, just bring it to a boil for a minute or so then remove it from the heat.
While it’s cooling, prep your straining apparatuses. A sieve with a cheese cloth draped over works great. Also, you could use a sieve and a coffee filer; that would probably work better. The coffee filter I have for my normal drip coffee machine is a reusable one and it’s gotten quite a bit of use. It’s clean… but it definitely had a little coffee ground staining action and considering the fact that I would be using it for a delicate flavored cheese and that my husband is one of three people on earth who despises the taste of coffee (right?!), I figured I shouldn’t risk it. I bet disposable coffee filers would have worked well too.
Now here’s where I think I messed up a little. I probably should have waited longer to allow the whey to cool. I also should have stirred it a little. I also should have actually taken it’s temperature to make sure it was 140 degrees or less like the recipe told me to do. Oops.
Once I’d strained all of the whey (I had to switch the sieve to another pot mid straining), I had myself some ricotta! I should have let it strain a bit longer, but I was kind of impatient. I have tortellini to make!
Once I transferred the cheese from the cheese cloth to a bowl here’s what I had. Again, had I actually waiting longer to let the whey cool and if I hadn’t used a cheese cloth and used something more like a coffee filter that would have allowed for a tighter strain, I would have gotten more cheese. But, for a bonus cheese from the byproduct of a huge ball of mozzarella, I’ll take it!
One gallon of milk for both these cheeses! Neat. I squeezed a touch of lemon juice onto the ricotta and added a pinch of kosher salt to give it a little more flavor.
And then it I immediately used it as a filling for homemade tortellini which was topped with a sugo di pomodoro. Best Monday night dinner, ever and the best way to celebrate the first 6 months of marriage!
Ricotta from whey
Whey from fresh mozzarella
Heat whey in a non reactive pot to 200 degrees until boiling. Stir. Remove from heat. Let cool until 140 degrees or cooler.
Strain into sieve and cheese cloth or coffee filter.
Transfer to bowl. Add lemon and salt to flavor.