Preparation info

  • Makes about

    400 grams

    • Difficulty


Appears in

In Italy, most ricotta cheese is a by-product of the manufacture of other types of cheese, traditionally sheep’s-milk cheese. The leftover whey drained during the production of the original cheese is cooked again to make ricotta (thus the name, which means “recooked”). But ricotta may also be made from cow’s milk, as in this recipe.

(See “Making Ricotta Cheese” for step-by-step photos.)


  • 2 liters ( cups) whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon citric acid
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt
  • Heavy cream (optional)


Place the milk, acid, and salt in a small saucepan (pentola) and heat the mixture to 90°C (195°F), stirring often to avoid sticking and scorching. When the curds start to form and separate from the whey, turn off the heat and let the mixture rest undisturbed for about 10 minutes.

Carefully ladle the curds and whey into a fine-mesh or perforated strainer (colino) lined with dampened cheesecloth. Gather up the ends, tie into a knot, and let the cheese hang for about 1 hour.

Add a bit of cream, if desired, for a richer product.