The fresh milk-using-up-debacle continued with the fresh hell that is a ball of ricotta.
Last June, I was at a food event, chattering away over good wine and amazing nibbles (the struggle is real, I know). Mid-convo, someone tapped me on the shoulder “We went to school together” – “No we didn’t” I replied without even thinking. I’m a real charmer. I have a familiar face, so I’m often asked if I was at another party (sadly not), if I was at another event (possibly). She persisted – “I was – the year above you” “What, did you go to St Greg’s” I rolled me eyes “YES!” and low, dear readers, I was mortified. The most Marvellous Victoria Glass wrote a food waste book last year; quite why 2 food waste writers went to the school I don’t know. We did do home ec (as it was then), but it was hardly the hotbed of food education.
When I put out my plea, Victoria suggested rictotta from her book, ‘Too Good to Waste’. It’s too hard! I worried “Piece of piss” she said – and she was right!
The ricotta is a doddle to make – but now I have to think of ways to cook it. Because I made it. And I, weirdly, don’t love it. But I know I’m in the minority here. And I’m determined to overcome this one. I don’t *have* to, but I’ve found a love of olives, stronger cheeses and spicey curries through determination and, really, I just want to be able to be more greedy.
Note: you can only make ricotta if you have whole milk; there isn’t enough fat in other milks. Preachy time – I try to buy food in its least fucked around with form. That is, of course, a fairly impossible branding standard to explain. So I buy cheese not sliced or grated cheese; whole milk which I can water down if I need to; tins of tomatoes rather than a jar of sauce. After years of skintness I know that I saved money because sour milk can mean soda bread, but a jar of mouldy sauce just has to go in the bin. So, can I tempt you to buy whole milk? And go nuts and stretch to organic unhomogenised if you can. Not everyone can. Money is tight. If you can, just try it.
I think it’s the idea of cheese and pudding. So next week, you will have three ideas for using your leftover ricotta. You’re
(Leftover milk) ricotta
From ‘Too Good to Waste’ by Victoria Glass
1 litre whole milk (it has to be whole milk!)
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
60 ml white wine/distilled malt vinegar
Fine mesh sieve
Lidded container for storage
About an hour and a half (though an hour is leaving cheese to drain)
Pour the milk into a good sized saucepan and heat until it reaches 93 C/200 F, just before it boils
Stir in the vinegar and take the pan off the heat
Leave to stand for 15 minutes
Line the sieve/fine mesh strainer with 2 layers of muslin/cheesecloth and set over the bowl
Using your slotted spoon, collect the curds that have formed and transfer them to the sieve
Leave to drain for an hour
After the hour is up, tie the muslin and squeeze out the remaining liquid
Leave for around another 30 minutes to drain again
Place in lidded container until ready to serve
When ready to serve, peel off the muslin
Ricotta will last for up to week in the fridge
Got a question? Ingredient you need help with? Get in touch: